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Business Intelligence for the New North

Upskilled Workers Various initiatives help businesses bridge the skills gap by retraining incumbent workers and enhancing the aptitude of newer employees

Coworking: Rubbing Elbows Entrepreneurship

A TIF for a tat?

From the Publisher

September 2017 | $3.95

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Business Intelligence for the New North


September Features 20 COVER STORY

Upskilled Workers

Various initiatives help businesses bridge the skills gap by retraining incumbent workers and enhancing the aptitude of newer employees


Rubbing Elbows


Coworking spaces provide professional feel to solo entrepreneurs and the creative class


2017 Inc. 5,000 list

Annual list of fastest-growing private firms includes manufacturing, home improvement and travel from northeast Wisconsin

Departments 32


From the Publisher


Since We Last Met

10 Corporate Earnings 14 Build Up Pages 34 Voices & Visions 37

Professionally Speaking


Who’s News

43 Business Calendar 44 Advertising Index 45 Guest Commentary 46 Key Statistics On the cover Illustration by Candeo Creative

15 Years v 2002 to 2017

NNB2B | September 2017 | 3

From the Publisher

A TIF for a tat?

Could increased use of tax incremental financing for single-use developments spell hidden trouble for taxpayers down the road? by Sean Fitzgerald, New North B2B publisher The use of tax incremental financing to help Wisconsin communities expand their infrastructure and attract new development has increased dramatically in recent years. So, too, has the manner in which tax incremental financing – or TIF, for short – has been used. And that could present a hidden concern for taxpayers down the road. According to a 2016 report from Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance, the number of TIF districts in the state increased 127 percent to in the two decades from 1994 to 2015, to a total of 1,212 TIF districts as of 2015. That’s decreased a bit as some TIFs have since retired their debt, as the Wisconsin Department of Revenue identified 1,106 active TIF districts across the state as of May 2017. But even B2B readers have noticed quite a few new TIF districts approved just in northeast Wisconsin since that time. Old-school, seasoned economic development professionals of the 1990s used TIF to develop larger areas – such as an industrial park with multiple parcels – or to redevelop blighted areas for various uses supporting multiple businesses and multiple streams of property taxpaying revenue. Over the course of the past decade, it’s becoming increasingly in vogue to use TIF for a variety of single-use developments, such as an entire TIF for one manufacturer to construct a new distribution facility. I don’t know if those same pioneers of TIF use in Wisconsin would shake their heads in dismay or embrace the more recent trend toward establishing TIF for a singular use within a community. But the fact of the matter is that such TIF use is growing, and it opens up the possibility to more financially distressed TIF districts across the state. Real estate developers have learned they can and should request TIF assistance – regardless of the project – because of the possibility they can bridge funding gaps with less of a personal investment than they previously might have to shoulder on their own. TIF use can be risky, and comes with no guarantees, even when various protective measures are put in place. There’s been dozens of examples of such single-use TIF approved across northeast Wisconsin during the past few years. 4 | September 2017 | NNB2B

The $2.5 million TIF package the City of Green Bay provided for the Northland Hotel renovation back in 2015 has yet to generate any incremental property tax revenue to support its borrowing for the project. Now that the project is in receivership, it’s not likely to begin generating any revenue until at least 2019, if not later. Along the same scope, renovations to the Retlaw Hotel in downtown Fond du Lac by a development group related to the one that started the Hotel Northland project received TIF approval last month from the City of Fond du Lac. That project is nearly a year past its original start date. In Oshkosh, the city council approved a $710,000 TIF package this past May for the developers of the 130-year-old Granary building for a restaurant and office space. That measure passed on a close 4 to 3 vote, with one of the dissenting council members commenting afterward, “Now why wouldn’t any restaurant owner ask the city for TIF money to build a new restaurant?” In late July, the City of De Pere approved a $3.75 million TIF to fund the construction of a roundabout on the city’s west side off of the Main Street interchange with Interstate 41. Like me, you probably asked, “How does the property tax on a roundabout pay for the TIF to build it?” In this instance, the city carved out district boundaries several hundred yards in proximity to the proposed roundabout, and any property improvement occurring within that area will generate additional taxes to support the debt on the construction of the roundabout rather than providing more revenue for schools. So why are these sorts of public subsidies for individual private development a concern for property taxpayers? Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance noted there’s been a rise in the number of distressed TIFs across the state, citing 8.7 percent of the total as either distressed or severely distressed in 2015. That number has climbed to 9.6 percent since then. The failure of TIFs to perform is rarely recognized or scrutinized, particularly in larger communities where proceeds from vastly over performing TIFs can be used to subsidize a TIF that’s not paying for itself. So-called joint TIF review boards provide the appearance of additional vetting on new TIF proposals, even though their role is a mere formality – oftentimes representatives from school districts, technical colleges and counties move projects forward on the good faith that the municipality has already conducted proper due diligence. TIF is a great tool for a community when it’s used right. But the line between proper and improper use has become more blurred as once unacceptable projects are now regarded as standard. It’s worth taking the time to scrutinize any new TIF proposal in your community. n

15 Years v 2002 to 2017

Sean Fitzgerald Publisher & President x Lee Marie Reinsch Editor x Kate Erbach Production x Rachel Yelk Sales and Marketing Intern x Contributing writers Rick Berg Chief Financial Officer Vicky Fitzgerald, CPA

Werner Electric Appleton, WI

NEW NORTH B2B is published monthly by WINNEBAGO B2B LLC for $20 per year or $3.95 for a single issue. POSTMASTER: send address changes to: WINNEBAGO B2B LLC, 923 S. Main St., Oshkosh, WI 54902. Bulk-rate postage paid at LaCrosse, WI. Reproduction of any contents of NEW NORTH B2B without express written permission of its publishers is strictly forbidden. The appearance of any advertisement or product information does not constitute endorsement of any product or service by WINNEBAGO B2B LLC. Copyright 2017.

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15 Years v 2002 to 2017


1.800.642.6774NNB2B | September 2017 | 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 25 The Village of Ashwaubenon Board of Trustees approved a tax incremental finance district for the Green Bay Packers’ evolving Titletown District development which could reimburse the football organization up to an estimated $12.5 million. The Packers have already invested more than $65 million in the first phase of the 35-acre entertainment and hospitality development immediately adjacent to Lambeau Field, covering utility costs such as water mains, sanitary sewer, roads and sidewalks up front. Once complete, the new development could add as much as $95 in taxable property to the village. July 25 The Village of Harrison Board of Trustees voted to annex the remaining portions of the town of Harrison in northwest Calumet County, which included about two-thirds of a square mile and 475 residents. Inhabitants of the town petitioned to join the village earlier in July, capturing more than 300 signatures from town residents owning almost 85 percent of the town’s assessed value. Harrison was only recently incorporated into a village in 2013.

2002 September 4 – Registration began for Wisconsin’s do-not-call list, which created new regulations for companies both in and out of the state which use telemarketing. 2006 September 1 – Mercury Marine came to an agreement to relocate its Oshkosh remanufacturing operations along the Fox River to a $6 million, 115,000-sq. ft. facility in Oshkosh’s Southwest Industrial Park. 2007 September 11 – Gov. Jim Doyle ordered a transfer of $50 million to the state’s “rainy day” fund, a substantial increase from its previous balance of $780,000. Wisconsin had the lowest such reserve fund of any state in the nation, a status that severely compromised the state’s bond rating.

6 | September 2017 | NNB2B

July 26 Taiwan-based Foxconn, the world’s largest manufacturer of electronics, announced it selected southeast Wisconsin as the destination for a $10 billion production campus it intends to develop in the U.S. by 2020. Wisconsin was in competition with several other states across the country attempting to lure the technology giant, which promised to create as many as 13,000 jobs. Employees at the facility would manufacture LCD (liquid crystal display) screens for computers, healthcare, self-driving cars, safety and surveillance, education and entertainment. Foxconn has not yet secured property for the development, but was reportedly eyeing a location in central Racine County. July 31 Cherryland’s Best announced plans for a 15,000-sq. ft. cherry processing facility north of Interstate 41 in Little Chute later this year. The $1 million project will be backed by up to $130,000 in tax incremental financing from the Village of Little Chute. The company will continue to maintain its nearby retail store on Fullview Drive.

2010 September 1 – Wisconsin’s E-Cycle law took effect requiring businesses and households in Wisconsin to recycle electronics rather than throw them into the garbage. Many devices contain harmful lead, mercury, cadmium, chromium and other heavy metals; however they also contain plastic, steel, copper and glass that can be recycled. 2011 September 28 – Oneida Seven Generations Corp. ended negotiations with Brown County officials to accept as much as a quarter of trash disposed in the county to be used in an alternative energy facility in Green Bay, which would incinerate the waste at extreme temperatures and convert the energy into electricity. 2014 September 3 – National Exchange Bank & Trust in Fond du Lac launched a loan program to encourage investment in downtown Fond du Lac. The program will provide funds for qualified business and property owners within the downtown business improvement district at a below-market interest rate.

15 Years v 2002 to 2017

​July 31 The state Department of Transportation began a $1.2 million resurfacing project on 1.1 miles of Oneida Street in Menasha from County AP/Midway Road to State Road 114. The stretch of U.S. Highway 10 remains closed during the project, which is expected to be complete by Oct. 5. A detour takes motorists from WIS 441 to County Road KK to County Road N in Appleton and Harrison.


August 1 Oshkosh-based Experimental Aircraft Association reported attendance at its 2017 AirVenture convention was 590,000, up 5 percent over 2016. The organization indicated more than 10,000 aircraft arrived at Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh and other airports in east-central Wisconsin. August 1 Oshkosh Corp. received a $195 million order from the U.S. Army for 748 joint light tactical vehicles and 2,359 installed and packaged kits. It’s the fifth order under a contract the company received in 2015. August 9 The City of Fond du Lac Common Council approved a $2.3 million tax incremental finance package to assist Ashwaubenon-based Legendary Hotels with a $20 million renovation of the former Retlaw Hotel downtown. As part of the agreement, about $300,000 will be appropriated toward improvements to the courtyard of the 96-year-old hotel, which closed in late 2015 shortly after going into receivership. The Fond du Lac County Board of Supervisors previously approved a $1.1 million low-interest loan to Legendary to help bridge gaps in the financing of the hotel’s redevelopment. August 9 Port of Green Bay reported 214,212 tons of cargo shipped through the port in July, a 14 percent decrease from July 2016 cargo volume. Year-to-date cargo for 2017 was up 2 percent at the end of July compared to the same period during 2016. A total of 69 ships came through the port as of the end of July, up from 66 at the same time a year ago.

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August 14 The Wisconsin Department of Transportation began work on a $3.24 million project to improve 7.8 miles of State Road 29 in Brown County from U.S. Highway 141 in Bellevue east to the Brown County line. Culverts will be replaced this fall, while resurfacing will begin next spring and is expected to be complete by July 2018. The roadway will remain open to traffic during the project.

Quality ❘ Value ❘ Timeliness

15 Years v 2002 to 2017

NNB2B | September 2017 | 7

Since We Last Met August 15 The City of Green Bay Common Council voted 7 to 5 to support a plan for the $35 million downtown Hotel Northland renovation project to go into receivership, hoping to provide some possibility that recent contractors on the project would be paid and that construction could possibly be complete by mid-2018. Virginia-based Octagon Partners offered to provide $16.5 million toward the project and take a principal equity position under the condition the property be placed into court-appointed receivership. The extensive project – which was originally scheduled for completion last summer – has struggled to move forward during the past year as the project’s senior lender backed out its financial support in late 2016 while the two ownership groups battled in court over control of the project. August 15 The Wisconsin Department of Revenue released its annual Equalized Value Report for 2017, indicating total statewide equalized property value increased 4 percent from a year ago to $526 billion. The report indicated Wisconsin residential property increased 4.3 percent to $369 billion, while commercial property value climbed 5.1 percent to $102 billion. Across the region, equalized property values in Brown County increased 6 percent to $20.1 billion; Outagamie County increased 6 percent to $14.5 billion; Winnebago County increased 5 percent to $12. 5 billion; and Fond du Lac County increased 3 percent to $7.2 billion. Among

communities from the region valued above $2 billion, Green Bay increased its equalized value by 5 percent to $6.1 billion; Appleton increased 6 percent to $5.1 billion; Oshkosh increased 4 percent to $3.8 billion; Fond du Lac increased 4 percent to $2.7 billion; and Ashwaubenon increased by 7 percent to $2.2 billion. August 16 The Brown County Board of Supervisors approved a measure to use proceeds from an increase to the area’s hotel room tax and county sales tax toward a litany of capital projects in the county, including a $93 million project to replace Veterans Memorial Arena and Shopko Hall in Ashwaubenon with a multipurpose exposition building. Construction of the proposed 120,000-sq. ft. expo center is expected to begin in 2020 and would replace the 60-year-old arena. Other projects in the capital improvement package include a $20 million expansion of the county jail; $5 million toward the construction of a science and technology center on the northeast side of Green Bay; and several million dollars for transportation and bridge improvements across the county, as well as various other projects. August 17 The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Foundation filed for bankruptcy in the wake of several months of difficulties stemming from improper financing and credit backing for

Building Trust Since 1960

featuring BP Hi-Way Hop 8 | September 2017 | NNB2B

15 Years v 2002 to 2017

a handful of real estate developments between 2010 and 2014, including the school’s Alumni Welcome Center and a biodigestor it owns at Rosendale Dairy. The University of Wisconsin System was considering a potential settlement with creditors to avoid filing bankruptcy, but withdrew involvement earlier in the month after facing political pressure from legislators. The foundation reported $15.9 million in total liabilities, including $6.7 million owed on the biodigestor in Rosendale and $5.7 million in debt associated with the alumni welcome center. August 17 Combined Locks social animation app developer wrapped up its $300,000 offering from 10 independent angel investors in the first 16 days of funding. The financing will be used to accelerate development of the app to prepare for an early October beta launch. is a no-cost app that simplifies digital animation and drawing and allows users to license and sell their creative assets. The 3-year-old software development firm recently held a Kickstarter campaign that attracted more than 140 backers. August 17 Appleton Coated in Combined Locks filed for Chapter 128 protection while it seeks a buyer to help it continue operating its mill and restructure what company officials called “burdensome debt.” The coated paper manufacturer expects to maintain its 620 employees and continue to operate all three shifts while under receivership. Company officials cited a decline in demand for graphics paper products as well as currency exchange rates that favor imports of coated paper stock as reasons for its recent financial struggles. Appleton Coated’s lender indicated it will continue funding the company’s line of credit while it’s in receivership. August 23 Tony Evers, Superintendent of Schools for Wisconsin, formally announced his intentions to challenge Republican Gov. Scott Walker in 2018. Evers is the third Democrat to enter the field for next year’s gubernatorial election, following already-announced campaigns from Milwaukee businessman Andy Gronik and state Assembly Rep. Dana Wachs (D-Eau Claire). Like Walker, Evers has also won three consecutive statewide elections since 2009, most recently defeating Republican challenger Lowell Holtz this past April with 70 percent of the total vote. n

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15 Years v 2002 to 2017

NNB2B | September 2017 | 9

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

Associated Banc Corp.

Illinois Tool Works Inc.

2Q 2017 2Q 2016 Income $55.6 million $46.9 million s 19% EPS 36 cents 31 cents s 16% The Green Bay-based financial institution reported commercial and business lending increased by $122 million from the first quarter, while average deposits grew 6 percent from the second quarter 2016 to $21.5 billion.

2Q 2017 2Q 2016 Revenue $3.6 Billion $3.4 Billion s 5% Income $587 million $525 million s 12% EPS $1.69 $1.46 s 16% The parent company of Miller Electric Manufacturing operations across the Fox Cities reported 3 percent organic revenue growth in its welding segment, which had suffered a challenging past two quarters. The company reported record operating income of $874 million for the second quarter.

Kimberly-Clark Corp. 2Q 2017 2Q 2016 Revenue $4.6 Billion $4.6 Billion t 1% Income $531 million $566 million t 6% EPS $1.49 $1.56 t 4% The manufacturer of consumer paper and tissue products with significant operations in the Fox Cities reported organic sales fell 2 percent among its North American consumer products segment, reflecting category softness, less promotion shipments and heightened competitive activity.

County Bancorp Inc. 2Q 2017 2Q 2016 Income $2.1 million $1.9 million s 6% EPS 29 cents 30 cents t 3% The Manitowoc-based financial institution with significant operations across northeast and central Wisconsin reported a nearly 30 percent reduction in its non-performing assets since the end of the second quarter 2016. Bank officials indicated financial performance was impacted by slower secondary market sales of U.S. Farm Service Agency guarantees. The bank reported total assets of $1.3 billion at the end of the second quarter, up more than 10 percent from the same period a year earlier.

10 | September 2017 | NNB2B

Humana Inc. 2Q 2017 2Q 2016 Revenue $13.5 Billion $14.0 Billion t 3% Income $650 million $311 million s109% EPS $4.46 $2.06 s117% The health and benefits company with extensive operations in the Green Bay area reported strong earnings from the company’s individual Medicare Advantage business and its individual commercial business. Humana officials indicated the better-than-expected performance will help stabilize 2018 benefit plan designs.

Bemis Company Inc. 2Q 2017 2Q 2016 Revenue $1.0 Billion $1.0 Billion t <1% Income $28.0 million $50.9 million t 45% EPS 30 cents 53 cents t 43% The Neenah-based manufacturer of flexible packaging announced plans to close two North American manufacturing facilities and reduce nearly 300 administrative positions for a savings of about $30 million. The company did not identify which facilities would close, but indicated the restructuring plan would begin implementation later this year.

15 Years v 2002 to 2017

Brunswick Corp.

Oshkosh Corp.

2Q 2017 2Q 2016 Revenue $1.4 Billion $1.2 Billion s 9% Income $119 million $108 million s 10% EPS $1.32 $1.17 s 13% The parent company of Mercury Marine operations in Fond du Lac indicated marine engine segment revenues increased 6 percent on the quarter to $766.2 million led by growth in both the outboard engine business as well as its parts and accessories business.

3Q 2017 3Q 2016 Revenue $2.0 Billion $1.7 Billion s 17% Income $129 million $84.2 million s 54% EPS $1.69 $1.13 s 50% The manufacturer of specialty vehicles reported increased sales in each of its four business segments, led by 83 percent growth in defense segment sales to $483 million. The increase was primarily due to sales of international military trucks.

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Plexus Corp. 3Q 2017 3Q 2016 Revenue $619 million $668 million t 7% Income $25.6 million $26.1 million t 2% EPS 74 cents 76 cents t 3% The Neenah-based contract electronics manufacturer indicated it won 32 contracts during the past quarter representing nearly $220 million in annual revenue.

2Q 2017 2Q 2016 Income $4.2 million $3.8 million s 12% EPS 68 cents 60 cents s 13% The Manitowoc-based financial institution with significant operations across northeast Wisconsin reported 7 percent loan growth compared with the end of the second quarter 2016, and noted core deposits increased 8 percent over the course of the last year. The bankâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s total assets at the end of the second quarter were $1.31 billion.

15 Years v 2002 to 2017

NNB2B | September 2017 | 11

Corporate Earnings

Neenah Paper

WEC Energy Group Inc. 2Q 2017 2Q 2016 Revenue $1.6 Billion $1.6 Billion s 2% Income $199 million $181 million s 10% EPS 63 cents 57 cents s 11% The parent company of Wisconsin Public Service Corp. and WE Energies reported an increase of 9,000 more electric and 13,000 more natural gas customers than at the end of the second quarter 2016. The company also indicated electrical consumption decreased across all customer segments for the first six months of 2017.

West Corp. 2Q 2017 2Q 2016 Revenue $574 million $582 million t 1% Income $44.8 million $33.0 million s 36% EPS 52 cents 39 cents s 33% The enterprise communications service provider with extensive operations across the Fox Cities and Greater Green Bay areas indicated its earnings growth was driven by $35 million of accelerated amortization of deferred financing costs. The company expects its acquisition by Apollo Global Management will close by the end of 2017.

1Q 2017 1Q 2016 Revenue $164 million $174 million t 6% Income ($7.3 million) ($6.9 million) t 6% The employee-owned producer of thermal and carbonless papers reported higher volume for its tag, label and entertainment products and carbonless papers segment helped improve operating earnings from a year earlier. The company indicated sales and earnings were impacted by lower market prices for its thermal receipt paper.

12 | September 2017 | NNB2B

Dean Foods 2Q 2017 2Q 2016 Revenue $1.9 Billion $1.8 Billion s 4% Income $17.6 million $33.4 million t 47% EPS 19 cents 36 cents t 47% The dairy-based foods company with extensive operations in Wisconsin, including the Green Bay area, noted disappointment in its financial performance during the quarter and lowered its full-year 2017 earnings expectation to a range of 80 to 95 cents per share. Total milk volume decreased nearly 3 percent to 615 million gallons compared with 632 million gallons during the second quarter of 2016.

Schneider National


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2Q 2017 2Q 2016 Revenue $249 million $246 million s 1% Income $25.0 million $21.0 million s 19% EPS $1.46 $1.22 s 20% The papermaker with significant operations in the Fox Cities reported record quarterly revenues for the second quarter, driven by 2 percent growth in receipts from its fine paper and packaging segment.

2Q 2017 2Q 2016 Revenue $1.1 Billion $995 million s 8% Income $46.5 million $44.2 million s 5% EPS 27 cents 28 cents t 4% The Ashwaubenon-based transportation and logistics services company indicated revenue grew as a result of its acquisition of another carrier, higher fuel surcharge receipts, brokerage growth and sales generated by its equipment leasing business. Income from operations in the company’s truckload segment declined 14 percent due to rising driver costs and lower gain on sale of used trucks.

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15 Years v 2002 to 2017

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Build Up Fond du Lac 1




Build Up

Fond du Lac

Indicates a new listing

1 - 221 Shepard St., Ripon Alliance Laundry Systems, a 45,300-sq. ft.addition to the existing industrial facility for manufacturing space. Project completion expected in October. 2 - 660 Van Dyne Road, Fond du Lac BCI Burke, a 27,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility for office and production space. Project completion expected in December. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 3 - 145 N. Rolling Meadows Dr., Fond du Lac Radiology Associates of the Fox Valley, a new medical building. 4 - 100 Camelot Dr., Fond du Lac Excel Engineering, a 3,400-sq. ft. addition to the existing office building. Project completion expected in October.

14 | September 2017 | NNB2B

15 Years v 2002 to 2017

Build Up Oshkosh

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Build Up


Indicates a new listing

5 - 1041 Emmers Lane, Oshkosh Choice Bank, a two-story financial institution building.

9 - 1124 S. Koeller St., Oshkosh Potbelly Sandwich Shop, a new restaurant building.

6 - 3321 County Road A, Oshkosh A.P. Nonweiler, an addition to the existing coating process facility.

10 - 495 W. Waukau Ave., Oshkosh Fox Valley Metrology, an addition to the existing industrial facility.

7 - 324 Washington Ave., Oshkosh Oshkosh Community YMCA, a 53,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing community center and various interior renovations. Project completion expected in November.

Projects completed since our August issue: • ACH Foam Technologies, 90 Trowbridge Dr., Fond du Lac. • ACH Foam Technologies, 1739 Fox Ridge Dr., Fond du Lac. • Muza Sheet Metal, 3200 N. Main St., Oshkosh. • Verve, a Credit Union, 215 W. Murdock Ave., Oshkosh.

8 - 1212 S. Main St., Oshkosh Fox Valley Pro Basketball, an 80,000-sq. ft., 3,500-seat sports arena. Project completion expected in November. General contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay.

Coming to B2B in November 2017 Industrial Development

Emerging industrial parks across northeast Wisconsin

15 Years v 2002 to 2017

NNB2B | September 2017 | 15

Build Up Fox Cities Build Up

Fox Cities

Indicates a new listing

1 - N2152 N Road, Hortonville Quantum Electrical Solutions, a 4,000-sq. ft. office and warehouse facility. Project completion expected in September. General contractor is Frontier Builders & Consultants of Kaukauna. 2 - County CB & State Road 15, town of Greenville Cintas, a 54,000-sq. ft. industrial facility for laundry and maintenance. Project completion expected in July 2018. 3 - 5402 W. Integrity Way, town of Grand Chute Habitat ReStore, a 21,865-sq. ft. home improvement retail store. Project completion expected in late 2017. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 4 - 4531 W. Wisconsin Ave., town of Grand Chute Cheddar’s Scratch Kitchen, an 8,069-sq. ft. restaurant building. 5 - 4815 N. Lynndale Dr., town of Grand Chute Gordon Bubolz Nature Preserve, a two-story, 18,200-sq. ft. nature center and offices. Project completion expected in late fall. 6 - 1850 W. Grand Chute Blvd., town of Grand Chute Town of Grand Chute, a 4,704-sq. ft. community center. 7 - 3801 N. Richmond St., town of Grand Chute Meijer, a 200,206-sq. ft. department and grocery superstore and a separate 3,366-sq. ft. convenience store. Project completion expected in early 2018. 8 - 355 W. Lawrence St., Appleton Fox Cities Exhibition Center, a 65,000-sq. ft. convention and meeting facility. Project completion expected in fall. 9 - 410 S. Walnut St., Appleton Outagamie County, a 90,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing county administrative office building. 10 - 401 W. North Ave., Little Chute Nestle USA, an addition to the existing food processing facility for a microlab. 11 - 140 Allegiance Ct., Little Chute All-Star Cutting & Coring, a 10,160-sq. ft. industrial facility. Project completion expected in fall. 12 - 3600 Electric City Blvd., Kaukauna Holland Cold Storage, an addition to the existing climatecontrolled warehousing facility. 13 - N2061 Vandenbroek Road, Kaukauna Van’s Waste, a service bay addition to the existing industrial facility. Project completion expected in October. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.

16 | September 2017 | NNB2B

14 - 201 Reaume Ave., Kaukauna City of Kaukauna Fire Department, a 29,174-sq. ft. fire station. Project completion expected in fall. 15 - 1122 Crooks Ave., Kaukauna Modern Dairy, a a 4,300-sq. ft. addition to the existing facility. Project completion expected in September. General contractor is Frontier Builders & Consultants of Kaukauna. 16 - W3171 Springfield Dr., town of Buchanan Anytime Fitness, a two-story fitness center. Project completion expected in September. 17 - 2515 S. Eisenhower Dr., Appleton Encapsys, a 37,000-sq. ft. new corporate office building and research facility. Project completion expected in September. 18 - 3989 E. Endeavor Dr., Appleton Custom Offsets, a 20,000-sq. ft. auto parts retail facility, shop and offices. Project completion expected in December. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 19 - 829 Appleton Road, Menasha Bethel Evangelical Lutheran Church, a 4,400-sq. ft. addition to and remodel of the existing church building. Project completion expected in October. General contractor is Millennium Construction of Appleton. 20 - 728 Watermark Ct., Fox Crossing Precision Installations, a manufacturing assembly facility and offices. Project completion expected in January. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 21 - County Road CB, Fox Crossing Secura Insurance, a 350,000-sq. ft. corporate headquarters office building. Project completion expected in 2019. 22 - 1775 E. Shady Lane, Fox Crossing Michels Power, a 10,368-sq. ft. addition to the existing commercial building. 23 - 1265 W. American Dr., Fox Crossing Wisconsin Institute of Urology, a 34,837-sq. ft. medical clinic. 24 - 590 Enterprise Dr., Neenah Horseshoe Beverage Co., a 20,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility for a bottling plant. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. Projects completed since our August issue: • Little Chute municipal services, 1401 E. Elm Dr., Little Chute. • Custom Plating Specialists, W797 County Road K, Brillion. • Coldwell Banker-Real Estate Group, 2830 John St., Appleton. • WOW Logistics, 1450 McMahon Dr., Fox Crossing. • St. Mary Catholic Central, 1050 Zephyr Dr., Fox Crossing.

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Education Religious Government Assisted Living Meeting the needs of your business future - 920.498.9300

15 Years v 2002 to 2017

NNB2B | September 2017 | 17

Build Up Greater Green Bay area 2 &3 1

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Build Up

Greater Green Bay area 1 - 2780 Howard Commons Dr., Howard Fusion Dance, a dance studio and office. Project completion expected in fall. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 2 - 1521 Brookfield Ave., Howard Winona Foods, a 157,210-sq. ft. warehouse facility. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. 3 - 1558 Brookfield Ave., Howard BCS International, a 92,400-sq. ft. warehouse and office building. General contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay.

Indicates a new listing

4 - 2740 W. Mason St., Green Bay Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, a 62,000-sq. ft. transportation center and a two-story Great Lakes Energy Education Center. Project completion expected in early 2018. 5 - 1250 Velp Ave., Green Bay La Java Express, a commercial retail building for a coffee shop. 6 - 2231 N. Quincy St., Green Bay NEW Water/Green Bay Metropolitan Sewerage District, a wastewater treatment facility. Completion expected in 2018. 7 - 2400 University Ave., Green Bay Kwik Trip, a new convenience store and fuel station.

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15 Years v 2002 to 2017

8 - 2280 E. Mason St., Green Bay Learsi & Co., a substantial overhaul of the former grocery store to create retail spaces for PetSmart, Ross Dress for Less and Marshalls. Project completion expected in early 2018.

20 - 600 High St., Wrightstown Wrightstown Community Wellness Center, a 8,564-sq. ft. addition to the existing high school for a civic facility. Project completion expected in December.

9 - 2230 Main St., Green Bay Starbucks, a 6,018-sq. ft. multi-tenant retail building to include a coffee shop. Project completion expected in October. General contractor is Frontier Builders & Consultants of Kaukauna.

21 - 2275 American Blvd., De Pere Green Bay Packaging, a 39,280-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility for warehouse space.

10 - 2629 Eaton Road, Bellevue Dorsch Ford Lincoln Kia, a new collision repair facility. 11 - 1936 Donbea St., Bellevue Viking Electric, a 9,800-sq. ft. addition to the existing warehouse building. Project completion expected in October. General contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay. 12 - 2605 Development Dr., Bellevue Plastic Surgery & Skin Specialists by BayCare, a 12,000-sq. ft. surgery center. Project completion expected in September. 13 - 2801 S. Webster Ave., Allouez Cerebral Palsy Inc., an addition to the existing human services center office. Project completion expected in late fall. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna.

22 - 1745 Matthew Dr. East, De Pere De Pere Cabinet, a 35,050-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility for warehouse space. Project completion expected in October. General contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay. 23 - 1234 Enterprise Dr., De Pere Krause Financial Services, a 1,900-sq. ft. addition to the existing commercial office building. Projects completed since our August issue: • McAllister Landscape Supplies, 4589 Shawano Ave., Howard. • American Foods Group, 1010 University Ave., Green Bay. • KI, 1330 Bellevue Dr., Bellevue. • NEW Dermatology, 3059 Voyager Dr., Green Bay. • Fox River Fiber, 1751 Matthew Dr. West, De Pere.

14 - 2833 Riverside Dr., Allouez Green Bay Correctional Institution, an 8,000-sq. ft. addition to the visitor center at the existing correctional facility. Project completion expected in October.


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15 - 1900 Block S. Ridge Road, Ashwaubenon Green Bay Packers/Titletown Development, a two-story, 11,300-sq. ft. sledding hill pavilion and a separate 5,330-sq. ft. plaza maintenance building. Project completion expected in October. 16 - 810 Morris Ave., Ashwaubenon Home2 Suites, a four-story, 92-suite hotel. Project completion expected in September. 17 - 2654 S. Oneida St., Ashwaubenon Midwest Expansion, a 9,000-sq. ft. multi-tenant retail building.

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18 - 2800 Ashland Ave., Ashwaubenon Wisconsin Public Service, a 31,788-sq. ft. regional employee training center. Project completion expected in March 2018. 19 - 1333 Parkview Road, Ashwaubenon Fosber America, a 12,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility. Project completion expected in October. General contractor is Bayland Buildings of Green Bay. 866-799-0530 | N2971 Hwy. 15, Hortonville

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Cover Story

Upskilled Workers Initiatives such as Wisconsin Fast Forward help businesses begin to bridge the skills gap by retraining incumbent workers and enhancing the skills of the next generation of employees Story by Rick Berg

Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s not like Services Plus founder Marvin Schumacher schooled his boys, Mike and Tom, on how to milk government programs to boost the companyâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s success. In fact, in its first 30 years in business, the Green Bay-based specialty packaging manufacturer had never participated in any state or federal incentive program.

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That all changed in 2014, when Services Plus – like many of its business brethren – stared straight in the eye of a looming and increasingly more daunting employee skills shortage. At that point, a newly funded state program called Wisconsin Fast Forward came along with the promise to help businesses upgrade the skills of their incumbent workers and create the skills needed in the future workforce. Somewhat reluctantly, second-generation owner Tom Schumacher went all-in.

diesel mechanics. The grant expires at the end of this year, but Yezzi said the company has already trained more than the 48 employees allotted and will continue the training program at its own expense.

“I’m generally extremely skeptical of government programs, because they always come with strings attached,” said Schumacher, who retired as president of the company in 2014, but continues to serve as chairman of the board, as well as vice president. “In 30-plus years, this is the first government money that Services Plus has received, so it’s not like we are out there in line for every program available. It has to make business sense.”

Nimble and accessible

So far, so good on Wisconsin Fast Forward, according to Schumacher. “What appealed to me with Fast Forward is that it is very well structured,” Schumacher said. “It has all the incentives in all the right places for employers, for employees and for the technical colleges. It establishes expected criteria for the expected outcomes and the steps to get there. We’re all incented to do what we should be doing in the first place.” Wisconsin Fast Forward won more plaudits when the state Department of Workforce Development stepped up to help train diesel technicians at Hartland-based JX Enterprises, which operates 19 Peterbilt dealerships, including overthe-road truck sales and service centers in Green Bay and Appleton. “Industry-wide, there’s a prediction that trucking businesses will need 67,000 additional diesel technicians in the next 10 years just to replace retiring workers, and only about 3,500 enter the workforce each year through the tech schools,” said Richard Yezzi, vice president of human resources at JX Enterprises. “We were facing a significant shortage of diesel technicians, but everything came together when we learned about the Fast Forward grants. It was a perfect storm.” The state issued JX Enterprises a grant of $235,000 to train 36 incumbent workers and 12 new hires as certified Peterbilt

“There’s a sunk cost in getting something like this going, so we were able to use the grant dollars to get it off the ground,” Yezzi said. For Georgia Maxwell, deputy secretary at the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, March 2013 represented the best in state governance. Although the State Capitol had been embroiled in ongoing protests and partisan debate since the 2011 Budget Repair Bill was introduced and passed, the state Senate and Assembly both overwhelmingly approved the Wisconsin Fast Forward legislation that provided worker-training grants and created a state Office of Skills Development in the Department of Workforce Development. “It came at the tail end of all the protests – the Capitol was under siege, there was total mayhem and chaos, but that bill passed overwhelmingly,” Maxwell said. “It really brought Egypt and Israel together, if you will. That was really special to me, also, because we haven’t traditionally gotten much worker training funding from the state. Typically, that funding comes from the feds. So that shows how important it was. For the legislature to approve millions of dollars for this was truly awesome.” Rita Atkinson, who now heads the Office of Skills Development in Madison, said supportive comments like Schumacher’s and Yezzi’s have been typical in the three years the Fast Forward program has been in effect, as

Wisconsin Fast Forward Grants in Northeastern Wisconsin Here’s a sampling of the Wisconsin Fast Forward grants awarded to employers in northeastern Wisconsin:

McCain Foods USA in Appleton, Sargento Foods in Elkhart Lake and Waupaca Foundry.

z St. Elizabeth Hospital Foundation of Appleton: $130,360 to train 90

z Paper Transport of Green Bay: $248,400 to train 72 unemployed

incumbent workers as certified nursing assistants for jobs at St. Elizabeth Hospital in Appleton and Mercy Medical Center in Oshkosh.

z $229,000 to address employer demand for skilled industrial

maintenance workers by training current employees at Arrowhead Conveyor Corp. in Oshkosh, Bemis Healthcare Packaging in Oshkosh, Hoffmaster Group in Oshkosh, Marvel Manufacturing Co. in Oshkosh,

individuals as certified truck drivers.

z Bakers Supply Co. of Greenville: $72,310 to train 24 unemployed individuals as certified drivers.

z $29,668 to train 25 incumbent workers from KI in Bellevue and N.E.W. Plastics in Mountain on electrical troubleshooting.

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Cover Story evidenced by the number of grants applied for and approved. “We have had 226 grants issued already and trained more than 20,000 employees (statewide),” Atkinson said. “More than half have been in manufacturing – 54 percent – and 23 percent in health care.” Business leaders like Yezzi and Schumacher have been especially appreciative of the ease with which the program is administered, which falls right in line with the original intent, according to Maxwell. “It’s very easy to administer,” Yezzi said.

“What appealed to me with Fast Forward is that it is very well structured, it has all the incentives in all the right places ... We’re all incented to do what we should be doing in the first place.” Tom Schumacher, chairman of the board, Services Plus in Green Bay



“I was sitting in the room when this idea was first discussed in late 2011,” Maxwell said, “and we knew from talking with employers that they were having a very hard time in filling job openings. This came from every corner of the state and every industry, and they were also telling us that the training programs that existed were not working quickly enough to meet employers’ needs. That told us that we needed something that was demand-driven, and that was nimble enough to respond quickly to employers’ needs.” The original structure of the Wisconsin Fast Forward program was designed to fit that requirement, but was still less nimble than Maxwell, Atkinson and their staffs preferred. As a result, the program has been streamlined to include a rolling application process that will further reduce the time between grant application and approval. “A lot of people don’t know how to apply for government grants. They’re too busy running their business to spend a lot of time filling out bureaucratic paperwork,” Maxwell said. “So, we’re offering technical assistance so if there’s a hiccup along the way, we can avoid delays and help them fix the holes in the application.”

Partnering with tech colleges

The state’s technical colleges have, not surprisingly, become a key linchpin in the Fast Forward process. Dale Walker, director of business and industry services at Fox Valley Technical College in Appleton, said individual grant recipients, like

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JX Enterprises, often enlist the technical colleges to provide the training – either onsite or on the college campus. In other cases, the technical colleges are part of an expanded regional partnership to provide multi-company training. One of the largest WFF grants to date was $229,000 awarded to the Fox Valley Workforce Development Board to partner with FVTC and 11 regional companies to train up to 54 incumbent production workers in FVTC’s newly designed Industrial Maintenance Certificate program. Those companies – which included employers as diverse as Arrowhead Conveyor Corp. and Hoffmaster Group in Oshkosh and McCain Foods USA in Appleton – asked FVTC to design a program to increase the skill level of their electro-mechanical technicians on a schedule that fit with their ongoing employment. Trainees were paid by their employers to attend classroom training once a week for eight hours over the course of two semesters.





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“It’s a really powerful tool for those employers to fill a critical skills gap,” Walker said. “The programs that we have helped develop and been a partner in have typically been focused on upskilling current talent in these organizations. They’re not finding the critical skills they need out in the job market, so they identify high-potential individuals in their organizations and then train them to take higher skilled positions in their company.” In a similar case, the Bay Area Workforce Development Board recently received a $110,954 grant to partner with the Northeast Wisconsin Manufacturing Alliance and Northeast Wisconsin Technical College to train 74 incumbent workers in machine operator training at 18 companies, including Schumacher’s Services Plus, as well as other leading manufacturers such as Tufco in Ashwaubenon, Georgia-Pacific in Green Bay and EMT International in Hobart.

Exceeding Your Staffing Expectations

Manufacturing Alliance Director Ann Franz said the program addresses a top priority for many of her manufacturing members. “It really came out of our Alliance task force work and a survey of our manufacturing membership, which helped identify the pain points for those members,” Franz said. “What they were telling us is that they needed to increase the mechanical aptitude and the troubleshooting skills of their production workers.”

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920.832.4500 NNB2B | September 2017 | 23

Cover Story Schumacher was among those manufacturing leaders looking for the kind of training now provided by NWTC through the state grant. “We have machine operators and we wanted them to acquire some mechanical expertise so they could take on some of the more routine maintenance tasks that would normally require a maintenance call,” Schumacher said. “For example, on our shrink-wrapping equipment, you end up with some degree of plastic accumulating on the equipment and that needs to be cleaned off. We weren’t trying to make maintenance technicians out of them, but we were trying to increase their expertise so they could be more effective machine operators, anticipate some issues and do some fine-tuning to help the equipment run better, rather than having to call someone in or run the equipment until it failed.”

“(Wisconsin Fast Forward) came at the tail end of all the protests – the Capitol was under siege, there was total mayhem and chaos, but that bill passed overwhelmingly. It really brought Egypt and Israel together...” Georgia Maxwell, deputy secretary, WI Department of Workforce Development

Investment in the workforce

Ever the government program skeptic, Services Plus’ Schumacher nonetheless appreciates the rare opportunity that Wisconsin Fast Forward provides. “From a business owner’s standpoint, what appealed to me about Fast Forward was that it requires an investment in education and skills development, and that’s good from both ends,” Schumacher said. “We have a shortage of skilled people in our workforce and this helps fill that need for us as employers. We also have some people in the workforce who may never have considered themselves as having the potential to develop into these more skilled positions, so this gives them some upside they might not otherwise have.” Yezzi agreed, noting the Fast Forward grant helped JX Enterprises create a program that meets the needs of the company and its employees. “It has allowed us to really develop our people and fill jobs we wouldn’t otherwise be able to fill,” Yezzi said. “We’re able to bring them in and help set them up in a pretty lucrative career. That’s probably the biggest benefit that we’ve seen, and the fact that we can continue this into the future is exciting for me. That’s one of our key drivers – to build sustainable programs to help our employees grow.”

“The other thing I liked about the program is that the state will only give you the money if you give the employees a raise at the end of the training,” Schumacher said. “I think that is fantastic, because it requires an investment. It’s very easy to stick your hand out and take money that’s gifted to you, but it’s a different thing if you have to make an investment. With Fast Forward, there are two investments. One is that the program requires the company to provide matching dollars for the grant. The other is that you are required to give those employees a raise. In my mind, no sane employer is going to make those investments unless the employee is worth more, so it’s really a way of demonstrating that the program adds value to the workforce.” “The way I look at it is this,” said Schumacher. “If we send 20 people through this training and give each of them a buck-anhour raise, the math works out to about $40,000 in annual earnings. That means we have increased the value of the Wisconsin workforce by $40,000 because not all those people are going to be permanent employees of Services Plus. But wherever they go, they’re going to be more valuable employees than they were before.” n Rick Berg is freelance writer and editor based in Green Bay.

Wisconsin Fast Forward Grants in Northeastern Wisconsin Here’s a sampling of the Wisconsin Fast Forward grants awarded to employers in northeastern Wisconsin:

z $137,865 to train 20 incumbent workers in engineering technology from EMT International in Hobart, Faith Technologies in Menasha and Lindquist Machine Corp. in Ashwaubenon.

z $110,954 to train 74 incumbent workers in machine operator

training. Businesses include Tufco in Ashwaubenon, Titletown Manufacturing in Allouez, Services Plus in Green Bay, Precision Paper Converters in Ashwaubenon, Nercon Engineering & Manufacturing

24 | September 2017 | NNB2B

in Neenah, Nature’s Way Brands in Green Bay, Miller Electric Mfg. in Appleton, Hartland Label Printers in Little Chute, EMT International in Hobart and A to Z Machine Company in Appleton, among others.

z $365,780 for seven Fond du Lac County employers to train 45

unemployed individuals through an entry-level computer numerical control machining boot camp.

z $173,093 to train 70 employees of Neenah-based Plexus in

electrical soldering through a customized training program at Fox Valley Technical College.

15 Years v 2002 to 2017

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Rubbing elbows Coworking spaces provide professional feel to solo entrepreneurs and the creative class Thanks to technology, economic belt-tightening and a global workforce, remote workplaces are on the up. If you’re a company on a shoestring, it’s a boon: You aren’t responsible for rent or utilities for a brick-and-mortar office, and you don’t even have to stock toilet paper.

Story by Lee Marie Reinsch, New North B2B editor

Depending on whom you ask, the percentage of workers working remotely at least part of the time is as high as 43 percent, according to Gallup’s 2017 report, The State of the American Workplace. Email, internet, Skype and Facetime, video conferencing and other collaboration tools enable people to work in real time “together” – but apart from one another. Many workers love the flexibility and comfort of being able to work wherever, wear whatever and live wherever they like. Others need the structure they grew accustomed to after years in a buttoned-up corporate office. Without it, they feel adrift, alienated and uninspired. Enter the coworking space. It’s sort of like the internet cafes of the 1990s – only without the computers – or like a coffee shop, only without the $9 muffins. Coworking spaces allow remote workers to bring their own devices and work among other remote workers. They feature open tables and seating areas, with the option of upgrading to private desks, reserved spaces or locked offices. Printers, copiers, super-fast internet, and conference rooms are key components, as well as other office necessities, such as the free coffee at Green Bay’s The Docking Station.

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Most co-working locations across northeast Wisconsin feature tiered memberships ranging from 24-hour access to a private office to space at a shared table during prescribed hours. The pricier packages usually offer more privacy, conference room and printer use. Prices in northeast Wisconsin can range from $15 a month for a space at a table, to $600 a month or more for a private office.

No place to call home but home

When Peter Nugent started his financial consulting firm in 2008, he worked from his home office. But it didn’t work for him. “I quickly realized I didn’t have the level of discipline needed to be successful at that,” he said. “I’d rather pay attention to something like CNN or deal with the lawn that needed to be cut and all of the distractions around you at home.” He worked at the library for two years, but found it to be distracting, and he never knew if he could get his favorite spot. He ended up getting office space in a local mortgage company, which worked a little better. “I needed that ability to go to an office outside my house,” he said. But it still wasn’t the best. One reason: He felt he stuck out at the mortgage company like a Vikings fan at a Packers game. “You had all of them – the members of the mortgage company – and me, an outsider,” Nugent said. He ran into a friend from college also trying to operate a business out of his home. “He didn’t have any problems with the discipline like I did,” Nugent said. “He needed to be around other people (to) develop his creativity, and without that, he felt like he was missing something.” At the time, coworking spaces were sprouting up in larger cities like Milwaukee and Chicago. The two friends toured a few. “Nothing in the (Green Bay) area was catering to something like that, so we did a lot of meeting in coffee shops, and in doing so, we saw a lot of people doing the same thing – meeting and conducting business in coffee shops,” Nugent said. “We knew or heard of others out there who didn’t have a place they called home other than their home office.” The rest is history: In 2011, he and that friend, Dana Vanden Heuvel, launched The Docking Station in Green Bay’s Broadway District.

Depending on whom you ask, the percentage of workers working remotely at least part of the time is as high as 43 percent, according to Gallup’s 2017 report, The State of the American Workplace.

Submitted photo

The lobby of The Docking Station in Green Bay’s Broadway district.

Customized plans

No one entrepreneur is like another. Their needs are specific to them and how they operate their business, Nugent said. That’s why The Docking Station and many other coworking spaces don’t require long-term contracts or membership for a specific period of time. “Use it as you need it,” Nugent said. “Go between the different membership levels if you have to or want to, but our goal is to provide a creative space (where) people can utilize those traditional office-type amenities … and to meet people or give presentations, and have the really normal office things, down to the coffee that’s provided.” The Docking Station refers to its patrons as members. “Even though it’s not a membership club, people who join The Docking Station tend to want to be part of something, so the membership name fit the best,” Nugent said, noting a range of careers represented among its members. “There’s the very traditional types of things, like insurance agents and attorneys, to the creative class, which is app developers, programmers, website developers, marketing consultants,” Nugent said.

Catching the current

Menlo Park coworking space in the riverfront development RiverHeath near downtown Appleton opened less than a year ago, in October 2016. “We offer a mixture between open areas, where people can bring in their laptops and study or work, and we have about four offices for people who want a space unto themselves,” said developer Mark Geall, principal with Tanesay Development, the Chicago-based firm which owns the Menlo park building. The space offers internet, a kitchenette, conference room and river view. Another plus – “It’s right above Tempest Coffee, so people are going back and forth,” Geall said.

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Submitted photo

A common area at Menlo Park along the Fox River in Appleton.

People who use Menlo Park include entrepreneurs, financial professionals, a writer, and several employees from a new branch of a franchise under construction, Geall said.

Grinding mill

“It’s flexible office space that provides a relief valve as people are growing or changing their offices,” Geall said. “Some people want to use it permanently, but it’s a great resource for companies that are staffing up or staffing down or are working on a temporary project for a month or two.”

“The community really embraced it,” said Ryan Rohde, community director for The Grind.

Geall said he named Menlo Park after the place in New Jersey where Thomas Edison built his research labs. Like other coworking spots, Menlo Park requires no lease. “You’re not tied into anything, so it’s good for people who are just starting out in their own business or transitioning,” Geall said. The open space, functioning much like a library or cafe would, has a 50-footlong communal high table and chairs, countertop along the windows, and a river view. A couple telephone booths offer privacy for phone interviews, speaker-phone use or confidential conversations. “It’s a casual setting, but at same time, it’s not a home office, so it feels more structured,” Geall said. The space is staffed during business hours, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Those who rent the four offices have access to them 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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The 12,000-sq. ft. The Grind Cowork Space in Oshkosh opened this past February with 10 members and two offices. Now it has 100 members.

Whether coincidence or prerequisite, caffeine seems to be crucial in these places: Planet Perk coffee shop opened a second Oshkosh location within its space. “We get a lot of foot traffic from people who just happen to walk in and who want to learn more about (The Grind),” he said. Marketing professional Tiffany Reichenberger called The Grind “a game-changer” for her. “I was previously working at home without a great place to meet clients and finding myself hopping from coffee shop to coffee shop just to get out of the house and away from distractions,” she said. Distractions eroded her creativity and hampered her work progress, she said. She also missed being able to bounce ideas off others. Indeed, interaction with other professionals can be an important draw for many coworking space users. Rohde said The Grind has regular social events that double as business boosters. “We like to treat our members to different networking events just to try to build awareness of the businesses,” he said. “It helps them out and it helps us out, so it’s really a win-win situation for both of us.”

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Entrepreneurship The Grind hosts live music – even a cellist – as well as lunches provided by local businesses, Rohde said. Reichenberger joined The Grind hoping to be surrounded by like-minded individuals passionate about creativity and entrepreneurship. “The Grind definitely provides that, but also gave my business a professional space to meet with clients, potential clients, and to host various events which help drive my business’s growth,” Reichenberger said. “Fellow members are always looking to collaborate on projects and work together or connect you with a great network for your business.”

Coworking’s Cadillac cousin

More established Fox Cities professionals credit Pam Baumann, owner of Pamco Executive Suites in Appleton, with introducing the Fox Valley to the concept of shared office amenities. Baumann launched Career Options staffing company in 1987 and rented out parts of her building she wasn’t using. By 1991, Pamco Executive Suites evolved. Besides providing private offices and corporate mailing addresses, Pamco answers phones with tenants’ names, sets up phone conferences, provides a reception room and even ushers clients to their meetings. Tenants get furniture, utilities, directory listing, door signage and office cleaning, along with the basics, like high-speed internet, office equipment and conference rooms. “We run their office while they run their business,” said Baumann, explaing the philospophy that attracts many of Pamco’s tenants. Pamco Executive Office Suites has two Fox Cities locations – a newer building on the growing northeast side of Appleton, and its initial location just south of the Fox River Mall in Grand Chute.

Submitted photo

A member at work for the day within The Grind in Oshkosh.

Tenants can rent a private office, share an office, or opt for a virtual one. Although there aren’t communal working areas like at coworking spaces, a shared office at Pamco is one in which Company A uses it certain days of the week while companies B and C use the same office the other days of the week. On the days the office is theirs, each company puts their name sign on the door. It’s good for workers on a budget, or

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15 Years v 2002 to 2017

A nonprofit alternative

With four kids at home and a fifth due in late September, Mike Schmitz’s house isn’t exactly optimal for a work mindset. He’s community manager for Appleton Coworking, Inc., a nonprofit coworking space downtown. Appleton Coworking, Inc. had its roots as Avenue HQ, which established itself as a coworking destination in downtown Appleton in 2013. When its founding owner moved on, the tight-knit community that had formed there wanted to keep the place going. So they formed a nonprofit whose purpose is “to educate people about the benefits of coworking spaces,” Schmitz said. Submitted photo

Pamco Executive Suites on West Spencer Street in Appleton.

for more mobile business professionals who may only be in the Fox Cities a few days a week for meetings. A virtual office is no office at all – but tenants still get a corporate mailing address and can use conference rooms and office equipment. This was a new concept in the early 1990s, and it took a while to catch on because tenants didn’t understand the idea of providing all these services as part of the rent, said Baumann, who’s preparing to retire at the end of this year. “A lot of people would come in and say, ‘Let’s say I don’t want your furniture, or I don’t need this, how much less would it be?’”

“We run their office while they run their business.” Pam Baumann, owner Pamco Executive Suites in Appleton, and a veteran of the shared office concept in the Fox Valley

“Our goal as a nonprofit isn’t to make a bunch of money, but to educate people involved in building this awesome community of creative professionals,” he said. “When we all get together we can do some pretty awesome stuff. If you were to compare our private offices, for example, to other private offices in downtown Appleton, they’re going to be significantly cheaper.” Schmitz works for a global company with remote teams all over the world. “Most people think, ‘Oh, I’d love to be able to work from home,’ but the trouble is, I don’t get a lot of work done at home,” Schmitz said. “Even if you don’t have kids, a lot of times … it’s hard to make that mental shift to where ‘OK, I’m going to do focused work.” He said he finds coffee shops to be too loud, and since his work includes video, a crowded cafe isn’t an appropriate venue for him. “A space dedicated to work, especially creative professionals, where they can (be) around other creative professionals who are doing creative work – there’s something about just being in that environment that helps you do better work,” he said. “It’s kind of like going to the gym: Even if you don’t feel like working out, once you get there, you see everybody else working out and you’re going to follow through once you set your foot through the door.” n

It took a while for it to sink in that rent with Pamco included everything, and space couldn’t be bought a la carte. “I think they thought that because it was a little more expensive, they could take this or that off,” she said. “Others just loved it, because they didn’t have to do a thing – we hooked them all up, got them all ready, and that was it.” While Baumann is looking forward to a bit more relaxation after more than 30 years as an entrepreneur, Pamco Suites will continue serving its longtime tenants. Baumann’s daughter, Lisa Powers, president of Career Options in Appleton, will run Pamco Executive Suites as well.

Submitted photo

The conference room at Appleton Coworking.

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Growth Streaks


Inc. 5,000 list Annual list of fastest-growing private firms includes manufacturing, home improvement and travel from northeast Wisconsin

Six firms from the New North B2B readership area made the sought-after Inc. 5,000 list of the nation’s fastest growing private companies. Inc. released the annual list in late August. This year’s count is up from four companies a year ago and the same as the six local companies appearing on the list in 2015. Here’s a look at the region’s accelerating companies making the Inc. 5,000 list for 2017 by order of rank:



Midwest Restoration

Tundraland Home Improvements Kaukauna-based Tundraland Home Improvements reported growth of 366 percent over the past three years and 2016 revenues of $29.1 million. The company ( specializes in bathrooms, windows, decks and sunrooms for residential improvement projects. This year marks Tundraland’s first year on the list. The company employs 157 people and was founded in 2009.

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This year marks Little Chute-based Midwest Restoration’s second year on the Inc. 5,000 list, having secured a spot at No. 1,219 in 2015. The company reported three-year growth of 314 percent and 2016 revenues of $2 million. Midwest Restoration ( restores and reconstructs commercial and residential properties damaged by weather, vandalism, mold or fire. It was founded in 2008 and employs 12 people.

15 Years v 2002 to 2017

#3,588 Black-Haak Heating Greenville-based Blaak-Haak Heating ( made its debut on the Inc. 5,000 list this year, with three-year growth of 85 percent and 2016 receipts of $4.8 million. BlackHaak provides residential and commercial heating and cooling services, as well as geothermal system installation across the Fox Valley. The company was founded in 1956 and employs 35 people.

#4,140 Drexel Building Supply Campbellsport-based Drexel Building Supply (drexelteam. com) marked its eighth year on the Inc. 5,000 list, reporting three-year growth of 65 percent and 2016 revenues of $143.5 million. Founded in 1985, the company employs 310 people. Drexel Building Supply ranked No. 3,718 on the 2016 list. It’s highest ranking had been at No. 311 back in 2009.

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

The family-owned company has six locations, including local retails stores in Campbellsport, Wrightstown and Berlin. Its specialties include home design, roofing, siding, walls, millwork, doors, windows, pole buildings, cabinets, decks, floors and countertops.

Successful Journeys Need a Guide™ 920.427.5077

#4,390 Fox World Travel Oshkosh-based Fox World Travel landed its fifth consecutive year on the Inc. 5,000 list of fastest-growing private companies, reporting 58 percent growth over the past three years and revenues of $28.4 million in 2016. The company ranked No. 4,659 on the 2016 list. The 2017 ranking marks Fox World Travel’s highest spot in the five years it’s been on the Inc. 5,000 list.

MillenniuM ConstruCtion, inC.

Founded in 1960, the travel management company ( employs 238 people. In addition to its Oshkosh headquarters, Fox World Travel has a dozen locations in northeast Wisconsin and the Milwaukee area.

Featured Project: Security Luebke Roofing Appleton, WI

#4,975 Vehicle Security Innovators Green Bay-based Vehicle Security Innovators (vsilocks. com) scored a position on the Inc. 5,000 list for the fourth consecutive year this year. Boasting 41 percent growth over three years and 2016 revenues of $10 million, VSI provides locksets for the heavy truck industry. It was founded in 2005 and employs 44 people. Last year the company ranked No. 3,843 on the list. It recorded its highest ranking back in 2015 at No. 3,305.

15 Years v 2002 to 2017

425 W Wisconsin Ave. • Appleton 920.882.8700 NNB2B | September 2017 | 33



oices isions &

A monthly conversation with New North small business owners, each shedding light on the local economy through the perspective of their industry sector.

We dream and dream about one day ditching it all and chasing our passions. Few of us actually do – money, time, health or family get in the way. And as it turns out, dreams aren’t guaranteed to work out perfectly. It’s then that we learn what we’re made of. Those who thrive learn to take those lemons and make lemonade. Holly and Tom Boettcher dreamed of their own vineyard and winery. They’d give tours, host wine tastings and wine-pairing meals, sharing their knowledge and hospitality. They made good on those dreams, planting 2,000 grapevines, renovating a Hortonville barn and investing thousands of dollars in winemaking equipment from around the world.

Holly & Tom Boettcher Whistler’s Knoll Hortonville

by Lee Marie Reinsch, New North B2B editor

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Then reality struck a sour note. The Boettchers discovered Wisconsin law mandates wineries close by 9 p.m. and doesn’t allow them to serve liquor at their establishments. The Boettchers could have climbed inside their wine vats for the rest of their lives, and no one would have blamed them. But they found a reason to clink their glasses together anyway. Instead of sour grapes, they’re creating a sweet life for themselves and others. How did you get started? We were retiring and looking for something to keep us busy in our retirement. Tom worked in the electrical field for 36 years, and I worked in sales for 20 years. He’d been making wine for over 45 years, and we wanted to start a vineyard and a winery. We lived in Greenville for 30 years and saw this property. You need good soil with good drainage. Vines don’t like to keep their feet wet; they like drainage. So we bought this property in 2011, planted 2,000 vines and were renovating the barn, because that was going to be our tasting room and our winery. 15 Years v 2002 to 2017

Then people started calling us asking, ‘Do you do weddings?’ We thought, ‘Huh, I guess why not? That’ll pay our bills until we have wine,’ because it takes five years before the vines are mature enough to bear grapes for wine. We’d done some wine dinners, using caterers, but we really weren’t open. So the first year (2012), without advertising, we were booked from May to October for weddings every weekend except one, and we never in a million years thought we’d do weddings.

What made you change your business model? So then once the grapevines were ready, we started telling the brides and grooms when they came to book their weddings that we’re ready to start making wine, ‘if you book with us in 2015 or 2016, we’ll be able to serve our wines.’ We found out that once you book for a winery permit in the State of Wisconsin, wineries must close at 9 p.m., and you cannot have a liquor license if you’re making wine. We had a liquor license for bar service at wedding receptions and other events. Just as if you had flipped a switch, we didn’t book a single wedding for almost four months. I felt really sad for my husband, because that was his dream, to have a winery and a tasting room. But after some months went by, he stepped back and went, ‘You know what? We’re not going to make wine because all our business will go away.’ Once we made that decision, the wedding and other bookings just came flooding back in, and it was just a matter of time before we were booked up again. It was kind of a no-brainer. We had gotten all our wine-making equipment from all over: California, Oregon, Italy, France. We held onto it a few years because thought ‘What if we decide we should make wine and that we don’t want to do weddings?’ But it’s very expensive eye candy to have all of that equipment in our winery and our winery standing empty.

Was it sad to have your dreams crushed?

B2B photo by Lee Reinsch

Healthy grapes flourishing on the vine at Whistler’s Knoll.

What’s the reaction to not selling your own wine? Sometimes people get mad – they think we’re a winery. They come for a taste, and are mad we’re not open for tours and tastings. But we’re farmers really, we’re farmers. We fall under the agriculture category.

What kinds of grapes do you grow? We have cold-hardy varietals: Marquette, Frontenac Gris, Marechal Foch, Prairie Star, Himrod and Niagara and 100 elderberry bushes in our elderberry orchard. Tom used to make an amazing elderberry wine, and that was going to be his signature wine if we’d had our winery.

How did you come up with the name? My brother used to work with Tom, and Tom whistles while he works. So my brother nicknamed Tom “Whistler.” And we’re on a knoll, which is a hill. We’re high up on a ledge.

What’s your barn like?

It is and it’s not. It’s not what we planned, but things are going fabulous. We can make wine at home if we want, but we don’t dare have it here – it’s illegal, so we must be very careful about that.

When you walk into our barn, you don’t feel like you’re going to fall through the floor. We have heat, air conditioning, it’s insulated, it has WiFi, a projector and screen, and full bar service in our bar. And we have beautiful restrooms – people love our restrooms.

We buy wine from distributors and we sell our grapes, because putting in and maintaining a vineyard is a great expense. Tom works out there every day, and we have a vineyard apprentice. We can sell a lot of grapes, because a lot of wineries in Wisconsin don’t have vineyards. So they buy our grapes. We always have a waiting list of other wineries that will buy our grapes.

We built a pavilion that’s nestled right on our vineyard, so we can do our larger events like the bigger weddings. We have a caterer’s kitchen out there and a walk-in cooler. We have nice area for the band or DJ to set up, a beautiful bridal suite for the bride and bridesmaids to get dressed before the ceremonies, which are normally held in the vineyard.

15 Years v 2002 to 2017

NNB2B | September 2017 | 35

Agriculture What are the grounds like?

What kinds of events do you have?

We have beautiful gardens. I’m a master gardener and designed all the gardens – it’s just beautiful.We just like to open our gardens and our property to the public, to educate them and share knowledge.

Once a month we do a wood-fired pizza night. Grab a pizza and sit in the gazebo or out on a bench in one of the gardens along the woods, or in the barn, which is airconditioned, or anywhere you want. On wood-fired pizza night, we’ll usually do 200 pizzas in a few hours.

We’re very sustainable: We compost, we recycle, we have native perennials. We have heirloom chickens in our vineyard to eat bugs and fertilize. We have bluebird nest boxes, hummingbirds, butterflies, bumblebees, honeybees visiting our pollinator gardens. We have a pollinator prairie we just planted.

We do monthly Bloody ‘Merry’ Sundays, a monthly Wine Down, which is like a happy hour. You can get a bottle of water, or wine, or soda, or an icy cold tap beer. We have snacks available for purchase. We do wine-pairing dinners (with other vintners’ wines). We have a vintage market coming up, we just had a jazz festival (in July) and all kinds of public events. We have yoga – just pay when you get here, and you get a glass of wine after the class. We have a lot of free workshops, especially gardening workshops in the spring. But we’re not open every day. Just go onto our home page at for all of our events, which are planned out for the whole year.

What’s it like in winter? It’s really the busiest time of year – it’s my time to get all the events scheduled for the next year, work with our vendors and purveyors and food caterers, and we’re open year-round. The barn’s heated – a lot of people come with their jacket and they’re like ‘This is warmer than the banquet hall where we had our Christmas party last year.’ We do Christmas parties, holiday parties, a lot of corporate business parties. We don’t do bridal and baby showers in the summer – that would be just nonstop – but we do them from midOctober to the end of April. We’re booked most weekends with bridal showers, anniversary parties, birthday parties.

B2B photo by Lee Reinsch

A quiet path leading through the garden behind the barn at Whistler’s Knoll.

When can people visit? That’s one of the most important things to get across: we’re not a winery, we have regular hours, we’re an event venue, so people can rent our property. We do weddings most weekends, but one thing we feel very strongly about is we don’t want people to feel that they can only visit our property if they rent our property. We want to have plenty of public events, so people can stop in whenever they want, within our scheduled events.

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How many people do you employ? We have help, but it’s part time, about 12 part-timers. We have two who work every day. The vineyard is an unbelievable amount of work – all the pruning and training of vines, and trimming and mowing. It takes me a couple hours a day to water plants. We do weddings from 70 people to 300 guests, and that dictates how much help we need, too, and how long they work. We put in double shifts here because we work all day, and when we have events, we’re working all night. n

15 Years v 2002 to 2017

Professionally Speaking

Professionally Speaking is a paid promotional spot in B2B.

Do’s and don’ts of having and using DBAs by John Schuster of Caliber Law, S.C.


People often ask me what a DBA is and how best to use it in relation to their business. By definition, a DBA is the use of a name for marketing purposes that is not the same name as the legal entity of the business.

Register your DBA as an actual trademark – DBAs are essentially “tradenames” that in most instances would be considered to be “trademarks,” and as such, the best way to handle these situations is to register your DBA as a trademark. This can be done on either the state or federal level, which protects the mark, and most importantly, gives public notice that your DBA/tradename is actually owned by your business, showing that use of that name does not waive your right to asserting that you have limited liability protection through your legal entity.

For instance, Frank’s Towing might be a DBA of World Towing, Inc., and used to advertise in a certain geographic region. They might have acquired the name from someone else, or wanted to use a name that was different than the legally registered name of their business. The dangerous part about using a DBA is that it could expose you to unlimited personal liability if you do not use it properly with the right disclaimers, which is why I always propose that my clients do the following:

Disclaimers – It is essential that any time you use a DBA, such as using the name on a website, that you clearly identify and state the full name of your legal entity at the bottom of your website, so that you have given public notice that the DBA is the property of, is associated with, and falls under the umbrella of your main business entity

to avoid any appearance that the DBA is owned by you personally. If you do not follow the steps above, it is likely that someone suing you for the services or goods that you offered under your “DBA” will argue that the DBA was really just owned by you personally, effectively avoiding the limited liability protection that you had put into place when you created your legal entity. This is why it is essential that you speak with a qualified business attorney who understands the ins and outs of specific trademark laws and registrations to help you protect your intellectual property and tradenames. John W. Schuster, JD MBA is the owner and an attorney at Caliber Law, S.C., a law firm located in Oshkosh. He specializes in helping business owners start, protect, buy, sell and grow their businesses.

You’ve watched us grow from a startup to an award-winning agency. We’ve hired nearly a dozen new employees in the past month, and we’re going to keep trending up. Our team needs project managers, a production manager, digital strategist, media buyer, marketing analyst, communications director, human resources director and account services director. Tell us why you’re our next big thing on LinkedIn.

920.252.8128 • OSHKOSH

15 Years v 2002 to 2017

NNB2B | September 2017 | 37

Who’s News


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

MIDWEST HOTEL FINANCE CORP., Dennis Doucette, 1496 Woodmont Way, Ashwaubenon 54313. T. ALTERATION LLC, Mai Chue Thao, 339 Main Ave., Unit 2, De Pere 54115. WAGS FOX CITIES CLEANING INC., Craig Steven Wagner, 1596 Morning Mist Way, De Pere 54115. DOGGY DAY GROOM & PLAY LLC, Beth Roszak, 2081 E. Baraboo Cir., De Pere 54115. AVALON HEALING CENTER LLC, Gregory Allan Smith, 617 George St., De Pere 54303. DELGADILLO SUPERIOR CLEANING LLC, Reynaldo Delgadillo Haro, 2001 Smith St., Green Bay 54302. WALLY SPOT SUPPER CLUB LLC, Thomas Adamany, 1979 Main St., Green Bay 54302. NATIVE AMERICAN TOURISM OF WISCONSIN INC., Apache Danforth, P.O. Box 10626, Green Bay 54303. WANGHUA SPA INC., Aihua Chen, 127 S. Military Ave., Green Bay 54303. WIRELESS GAME OF WISCONSIN LLC, Noor Ahmad, 2022 E. Mason St., Green Bay 54302. ROYLE VENDING LLC, Kathryn Royle, 2916 Shelter Creek Ct., Green Bay 54313. BREEZEWOOD OFFICE CENTER LLC, Paul A. Klister, 111 N. Washington St., Green Bay 54301. HAWAIIAN SHAVED ICE CO., Danielle Dombrowski, 1705 Gobi Tr., Green Bay 54313. LAUGHING LEO’S MANE ATTRACTION PHOTOGRAPHY LLC, Kayla Amelia Liner, 915 Green Ridge Dr., Green Bay 54313. LIVING NOW COUNSELING LLC, Kevin Gunderson, 2745 Baylite Dr., Green Bay 54313. SOLID FOUNDATION LEARNING INC., Denise McFarlin, 209 Cliffview Dr., Green Bay 54302. LIGHTENING WASH LLC, Daniel J. Pamperin, 1275 Glory Road, Green Bay 54304. SET IN STONE LANDSCAPING LLC, Cole Yerina, 4753 Edgewater Beach Road, Green Bay 54311. CALEB HAYES INSURANCE GROUP LLC, Caleb Hayes, 487 Riverwood Lane, Green Bay 54313. OPTIMUM GROUP PRINTING LLC, Brick N. Murphy, 231 S. Adams St., Green Bay 54301.

Connect online TODAY 38 | September 2017 | NNB2B

INTEGRATED HEALTH DYNAMICS LLC, Richard Vander Heyden, 2851 Hidden Lake Lane, Green Bay 54313. ELITE PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT TEAM LLC, Jessica Mathis, 300 Packerland Dr., Green Bay 54307. SENTINEL SAFETY & SECURITY GROUP LLC, Timothy J. Feldhausen, 318 S. Washington St., Ste. 300, Green Bay 54301. PASTORCITO MEXICAN RESTAURANT LLC, Julio Salvador Govea Cisneros, 700 S. Baird St., Green Bay 54301. MANNAFEST CHURCH INC., Chad Clements, 2567 Lavender Lane, Green Bay 54313. GREEN BAY AREA MOTHERS OF MULTIPLES INC., Candice Kunesh, 707 Columbia Ave., Green Bay 54303. GERARDEN FABRICATION & DESIGN LLC, Codey Gerarden, 1179 Weise St., Green Bay 54302. BAY AREA MAINTENANCE LLC, Norman E. Boyd, 1132 Cherry St., Green Bay 54301. NORTHEAST WISCONSIN PROPERTY MANAGEMENT LLC, Gavin C. Carrigan, 2911 Lumber Lane, Green Bay 54313. RB JANITORIAL SERVICES LLC, Rosa Maria Barrera, 1618 Farlin Ave., Green Bay 54302. JK LAWN SERVICE LLC, Kevin Burmeister, 1343 Circle Dr., Green Bay 54313. DC INSURANCE SERVICES LLC, Dawn Veronica Campbell, 1292 Billie Ct., Green Bay 54313. BAY AREA TOWING LLC, Robert P. Brice, 1499 7th St., Green Bay 54304. CVT PET SERVICES LLC, Nichole M. Johnsen, 2433 Woodington Way, Suamico 54173. BADGER SKYTOGRAPHY LLC, Nicholas A. Bain, 1878 Golden Bell Dr., Suamico 54313.

Calumet County

LUPERB SOFTWARE LLC, Patrick Brick, N7946 Pigeon Road, Sherwood 54169.

Fond du Lac County

PIPPING FARMS LLC, Dennis E. Pipping, N5888 Center Road, Brandon 53919. AREA EXCAVATING & LANDSCAPE LLC, Jamie Gyr, W6105 County Road Y, Brownsville 53006. WERTH RACE ENGINEERING LLC, Jeffrey Werth, W3902 Echo Lane, Campbellsport 53010. CAMP MINI STORAGE LLC, Ann M. Geiger, 204 Center St., Eden 53019. TJ’S SECURITY & BUSINESS SERVICES LLC, Thomas John Roberts, 285 5th St., Fond du Lac 54935. MOBILE ATM LLC, Bryan Perl, 463 Cedar St., Fond du Lac 54935. BIG DOG PAINTING LLC, Robert Strash, 787 County Road V, Fond du Lac 54935. EAST SHORE LAWN CARE LLC, Robert Mengert, N9416 Winnebago Park Road, Fond du Lac 54937.

Get instant updates on business news developments in northeast Wisconsin before the next edition of B2B magazine comes out.

@NewNo rthB2B B2B New North e magazin



15 Years v 2002 to 2017

DREW DIENER CAMPS LLC, Sara Diener, 139 20th St., Fond du Lac 54935. ANN MENKE INSURANCE SERVICES LLC, Ann Menke, 264 14th St., Fond du Lac 54935. SONNYS REPAIRS LLC, Sonny Johnson, N6715 Seven Hills Road, Mount Calvary 53057. BLUE MARBLE BOTANICALS LLC, Bekki Fishelson Kuber, N4862 County Road Y, Oakfield 53065. EUROPEAN TOUCH PAINTER LLC, Vebija Bajramoski, 740 Newbury St., Ripon 54971. JWR FIRE EXTINGUISHERS LLC, Jonathan William Roy, 631 E. Jackson St., Ripon 54971. DIH AUTO REPAIR LLC, Dean C. Hayes, 412 E. Fond du Lac St., Ripon 54971. DYNAMIC APPAREL LLC, William Michael Walker, 409 E. Main St., Waupun 53963. FLEJTER HOME & BUSINESS HANDYMAN SERVICES LLC, Ryan Flejter, 526 E. Franklin St., Waupun 53963. PLUM CREEK DAIRY LLC, Roy Lemmenes, N11135 Cottonwood Road, Waupun 53963. GENTLEMEN’S GROOMING CO. LLC, Dannielle Jean Krug, 10 S. Mill St., Waupun 53963.


Green Lake County

THE LLOYD LAW FIRM LLC, Larry Lloyd, 120 E. Huron St., Berlin 54923. MIDWEST COMMERCIAL ROOFING LLC, Robert Harvey Miller, 163A Jackson St., Berlin 54923. TREU FARMS LLC, Terry T. Treu, 4272 37th Ave., Berlin 54923.

Outagamie County

WEYKER FINANCIAL LLC, Andrew John Weyker, 3517 N. Winterset Dr., Appleton 54911. FOX VALLEY VIOLIN COMPANY LLC, Peter John Krautkramer, 160 Harry’s Gateway, Appleton 54914. CLOVERLEAF COUNSELING LLC, Thomas John Zakrzewski, 3019 W. Spencer St., Appleton 54914. EVOLVE MECHANICAL TECHNOLOGIES LLC, Robin Keberlein, W5436 Red Clover Tr., Appleton 54915. APPLETON PEST CONTROL LLC, Corey Wilbur, 825 S. Olson Ave., Unit C, Appleton 54914. BRICKNERAUTO LLC, Kenneth Brickner, 4711 Everbreeze Cir., Appleton 54913. HOT SPRING SPAS OF APPLETON LLC, Jason Todd Wachtendonk, 4380 W. Greenville Dr., Appleton 54913. ORIENTAL SPA INC., Yaguan Dai, 314 W. Wisconsin Ave., Appleton 54911. FOX CITIES SPORTS DEVELOPMENT INC., Pamela J. Seidl, 3433 W. College Ave., Appleton 54914. VIP NAILS & SPA OF APPLETON LLC, Steven Huynh, W3178 Van Roy Road, Appleton 54915. C&A QUALITY PAINTING LLC, Socorro Rivera-Fortuno, 610 E. Coolidge Ave., Appleton 54915. REGAL NAILS AND SPA OF APPLETON LLC, Huong Nguyen, 3701 E. Calumet St., Appleton 54915. RISING SUN CHILD CARE CENTER LLC, Ashley Arnoldussen, 1425 E. Calumet St., Appleton 54915. ‘TIL DEATH TATTOOS LLC, Gary Michael White, 212 E. Taft Ave., Appleton 54915. JERICK TRUCKING INC., Jerilynn Gadbois, 2624 Lillian Ct., Appleton 54911. IRRIGATORS IRRIGATION SERVICES LLC, Shawn Thiel, N3782 McHugh Road, Freedom 54130. VH HOME IMPROVEMENTS LLC, Sam Van Handel, W2252 Chestnut Lane, Freedom 54130. C7 ELECTRIC & RISK MANAGEMENT LLC, Jonathan Clark, N1958 Swanee Cir., Greenville 54942. MJ’S SUPPER CLUB LLC, John J. Heegeman, W8326 County Road MM, Hortonville 54944. ANGELS TINTING LLC, Angel Trinidad Garcia, W10222 School Road, Hortonville 54944. REVIVE SALON & BOUTIQUE LLC, Michelle Jean Johnson, 410 Park St., Kaukauna 54130.

15 Years v 2002 to 2017

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NNB2B | September 2017 | 39

Who’s News

Services for Business & Industry

Customized. Innovative. Solutions.

ROYAL MASSAGE LLC, Carrie A. Hietpas, W2123 Evergreen Dr., Kaukauna 54130. SUN VALLEY LAWN CARE LLC, Daniel Lee Fink, 4425 Coriander Ct., Kaukauna 54130. HANNA’S NAILS SALON SERVICE LLC, Phuong Dung T. Pham, 1950 Crooks Ave., Kaukauna 54130. KOU X PLASTERING LLC, Kou Xiong, 1213 Saunders Road, Kaukauna 54130. KESSLER FUNERAL HOME II LLC, Derek R. Van Deurzen, 101 Canal St., Little Chute 54140. BETHESDA HEALTH AND WELLNESS INC., Donald Matthew McCarter, 113 Canal St., Little Chute 54140.

Winnebago County

To stay competitive, you need to find, select and train new and existing employees. Let Fox Valley Technical College help you: • Find new employees • Evaluate with employee assessments • Enhance employee skills with seminars and customized training

HOFFMAN HOME SERVICES LLC, Coreen Thomas, 5326 County Road II, Larsen 54947. DAVINCI DRONOGRAPHY LLC, Ronald Loren Mele, 372 Lopas St., Menasha 54952. CURT’S CUSTOM REPAIRS LLC, Curtis William Rich, 996 Third St., Menasha 54952. EMPRIZE BREW MILL LLC, Emprize Brewing LLC, 335 Lake Road, Menasha 54952. JOHAL GAS & FOOD MART LLC, Jaskaranjit Johal, 1720 North St., Neenah 54956. RUMARS LLC dba THE DOME, Renee L. Kaufert, 1338 S. Commercial St., Neenah 54956. SANDERS HOME CARE AGENCY LLC, Karen Lee Sanders, 1055 Kalfahs St., Neenah 54956. WINNEBAGO SEED FUND I LP, David Trotter, 124 W. Wisconsin Ave., Ste. 240F, Neenah 54956. HARTFORD HOTEL GROUP LLC, Brian Wogernese, 980 American Dr., Neenah 54956. LOTUS FOOT CARE LLC, Maiker K. Thao-Yang, 1608 Bluebird Ct., Neenah 54956. SOUL SALON LLC, Tami Marie Romenesko, 1028 S. Commercial St., Neenah 54956. RON COPS PAINTING LLC, Ronald Joseph Cops, 1720 Oakview Dr., Neenah 54956. ECLIPSE PROCUREMENT LLC, Amie M. Laabs, 3545 Golf Wood Dr., Neenah 54956. PRECISION LAWN & SNOW SERVICES LLC, Melissa Lee Klubertanz, 8734 County Road K, Omro 54963. INTEGRITY BUILDS INC., Scott Shefchik, 1395 Maricopa Dr., Oshkosh 54904. BEHNKE LAWN CARE LLC, Justin Behnke, 2535 Sheridan St., Oshkosh 54901. J’S HEALTH SPA INC., Juhua You, 1775 Witzel Ave., Oshkosh 54902. SABINOS RESTAURANT LLC, Emilio Sabino Severiano, 2013 Doty St., Oshkosh 54902. TATE’S TILE LLC, Brenin Alton Tate, 826 Central St., Oshkosh 54901. R AND R QUALITY CONSTRUCTION & PROPERTY MANAGEMENT LLC, Randy M. Johnson, 1927 Fabry St., Oshkosh 54902. TSG ACCOUNTING LLC, Amy J. Bargenquast, 1670 Hunters Glen Dr., Oshkosh 54904. WISE RESTAURANT GROUP LLC, Paul Wise, 1964 S. Koeller St., Oshkosh 54902. KINETIC GENERAL CONTRACTING LLC, Kaleb John Faust, 4067 Meadow View Lane, Oshkosh 54904. EASY STREET TATTOO LLC, Peter K. Donin, 703 Oregon St., Oshkosh 54902. DKH BOOKKEEPING SERVICES LLC, Debra Kay Herman, 900 Monroe St., Oshkosh 54901. FOX RUN DENTAL LLC, Wyn Steckbauer, D.D.S., 1720 Congress Ave., Oshkosh 54901.

New locations Contact our industry experts today!

INVESTORS COMMUNITY BANK moved its Green Bay banking center to a new location at 960 Hansen Road in Ashwaubenon.   The law firm von BRIESEN & ROPER, S.C. moved its Green Bay office to 300 North Broadway, Suite 2B. • 920-735-2525

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15 Years v 2002 to 2017

Building permits

B2B includes a monthly list of building permits (not to include residential projects) in excess of $400,000. NESTLE USA, 401 W. North Ave., Little Chute. $3,229,861 for an addition to the existing food processing facility for a microlab. General contractor is Boldt Construction Co. of Appleton. June 30. KWIK TRIP, 2400 University Ave., Green Bay. $1,800,000 for a new convenience store and fuel station. Contractor listed as self. July. CHOICE BANK, 1041 Emmers Lane, Oshkosh. $4,700,000 for a two-story financial institution. General contractor is Miron Construction Co. of Fox Crossing. July 11. TOWN OF GRAND CHUTE, 1850 W. Grand Chute Blvd., town of Grand Chute. $789,900 for a 4,704-sq. ft. community center. General contractor is James J. Calmes & Sons Inc. of Kaukauna. July 13. A.P. NONWEILER, 3321 County Road A, Oshkosh. $617,000 for an addition to its existing coating process facility. General contractor is C.R. Meyer of Oshkosh. July 13. HORSESHOE BEVERAGE CO., 590 Enterprise Dr., Neenah. $10,671,000 for a 20,000-sq. ft. addition to the existing manufacturing facility for a bottling plant. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. July 14. KRAUSE FINANCIAL SERVICES, 1234 Enterprise Dr., De Pere. $530,000 for a 1,900-sq. ft. addition to the existing commercial office building. General contractor is Corrigan’s Custom Built Structures of De Pere. July 17. GREEN BAY PACKAGING, 2275 American Blvd., De Pere. $2,800,000 for a 39,280-sq. ft. addition to the existing industrial facility for warehouse space. General contractor is C.D. Smith Construction of Fond du Lac. July 19. STARBUCKS, 2230 Main St., Green Bay. $950,000 for a 6,018-sq. ft. multi-tenant retail building to include a coffee shop. General contractor is Roseneck Construction of Appleton. July. GREEN BAY PACKERS/TITLETOWN DEVELOPMENT, Ridge Road, Ashwaubenon. $9,000,000 for a two-story, 11,300-sq. ft. sledding hill pavilion. General contractor is Miron Construction Co. of Fox Crossing. July 21. DDL HOLDINGS, 340 N. Broadway, Green Bay. $5,250,000 for an addition to the former industrial facility for a mixed-use commercial and residential development. General contractor is Smet Construction of Green Bay. July. HABITAT FOR HUMANITY ReSTORE, 5402 W. Integrity Way, town of Grand Chute. $1,704,416 for a 21,865-sq. ft. retail store. General contractor is Keller Inc. of Kaukauna. July 25. DORSCH FORD LINCOLN KIA, 2629 Eaton Road, Bellevue. $5,000,000 for a new collision repair facility. General contractor is Smet Construction of Green Bay. July 25. MICHELS POWER, 1775 E. Shady Lane, Fox Crossing. $1,040,000 for a 10,368sq. ft. addition to the existing commercial building. General contractor is Boldt Construction of Appleton. July 27. CHEDDAR’S SCRATCH KITCHEN, 4531 W. Wisconsin Ave., town of Grand Chute. $1,401,433 for a 8,069-sq. ft. restaurant building. Contractor is Buffalo Construction Inc. of Kentucky. August 3.

15 Years v 2002 to 2017

NNB2B | September 2017 | 41

Who’s News




Business honors Focus on Energy presented 15 Wisconsin companies with a 2017 Excellence in Energy Efficiency Award, including the following employers from northeast Wisconsin: ALLIANCE LAUNDRY SYSTEMS in Ripon; BELMARK INC. in De Pere; CITY OF NEENAH; and GREEN BAY AREA PUBLIC SCHOOL DISTRICT.

New hires PRINTCO, INC. in Omro hired Lisa Butler as a client growth specialist. MARIAN UNIVERSITY in Fond du Lac hired Michael Carroll as interim chair of the department of business, Sherry Fontaine as dean of adult and online studies and Kimberly Udlis as the associate dean/associate professor in the department of nursing. Carroll has more than 30 years of academic experience, most recently serving as the president and dean of the Moser College of Adult and Professional Studies at Benedictine University in Arizona. Carroll is also a certified public accountant. Fontaine has more than 20 years of academic experience, most recently serving as the chair and associate professor of the online MBA in healthcare leadership program at Viterbo University in La Crosse. Udlis has more than 15 years of academic and nursing experience, most recently serving as the MSN program director and associate professor at Bellin College in Bellevue. Kaukauna-based KELLER INC. hired Peter Huettenrauch as an agricultural designer and Nick Swenson as a carpentry craftsman. Green Bay-based H.J. MARTIN & SON hired Kevin Shepardson as safety coordinator. FOX COMMUNITIES CREDIT UNION hired Bryan Spaeth as vice president of commercial lending in Green Bay. Spaeth has 18 years of banking experience. The law firm von BRIESEN & ROPER, S.C. hired Jonathan A. Meulemans as an attorney. Meulemans focuses his practice on business and transactional matters including contracting, financing, corporate policies and governance, acquisitions,


42 | September 2017 | NNB2B



business structuring and succession planning. Prior to joining von Briesen, Meulemans served as legal counsel for the State of Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection.

PORT OF GREEN BAY received the Overall Award of Communication Excellence Trophy for 2017 from the American Association of Port Authorities.




OSHKOSH CHAMBER OF COMMERCE hired Alyssa Wilsnack as its education and talent development coordinator. HOSPITAL SISTERS HEALTH SYSTEM – Eastern Wisconsin Division hired Dr. Mark J. Thompson as chief physician executive of its four hospitals in northeast Wisconsin, including HSHS St. Vincent Hospital and HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay, as well as hospitals in Sheboygan and Oconto Falls. Thompson has more than 20 years experience in health care management, most recently serving as chief medical officer of Monroe Clinic in southern Wisconsin. ORTHOPEDIC & SPORTS MEDICINE SPECIALISTS of Green Bay added rheumatologist Michael Avery, D.O. and orthopedic surgeon Walker Flannery, M.D. Dr. Flannery is a general orthopedic surgeon with specialties in sports medicine and anterior hip replacement. OSHKOSH CONVENTION AND VISITORS BUREAU hired Amy Albright as its executive director. Albright has worked at the Oshkosh YMCA for the past 20 years, most recently as its communications and development director. PREVEA HEALTH added Chaitanya Pant, M.D. as a gastroenterologist and Nicole Zappa, D.O. as an orthopedic foot and ankle surgeon at HSHS St. Mary’s Hospital Medical Center in Green Bay. Oshkosh-based CANDEO CREATIVE hired Tyler Olds as a digital strategist and Felicia Kudronowicz as a communication specialist. Olds has experience with search engine marketing strategies and advertising. Kudronowicz has three years experience in digital marketing and public relations. APPLETON HOUSING AUTHORITY hired Alicia Ray as a family support specialist for its Family Self-Sufficiency program. Ray has seven years of experience in case management, including background connecting clients to community resources. FIRST BUSINESS BANK hired Jason Wood as a vice president of commercial banking out of its Appleton office. Wood has 12 years experience in banking. He also has 10 years of retail management experience within big box and midsize stores.


15 Years v 2002 to 2017



One total solution that reduces your risk.




GOVANI DENTAL in Oshkosh hired Dr. Eric Childs as a dentist. Prior to relocating to the Fox Valley, Dr. Childs practiced dentistry for eight years in Michigan. Childs entered dental school after serving four years as a high school teacher in Michigan.

Promotion MENASHA PACKAGING COMPANY in Neenah promoted Michael Riegsecker to chief operating officer. Riegsecker has been with the company for 25 years, most recently working as its senior vice president of sales.

In the past year, 100% of our client survey responders would recommend us.

GREEN BAY PACKERS promoted Jason McDonough to director of ticketing and premium seating. McDonough joined the Packers in 2010 and most recently served as assistant director of premium seating. McDonough previously worked for the Miami Dolphins, Florida Panthers and Minnesota Wild. The accounting firm KERBERROSE promoted Katie Gannon, CPA and Kristin Tyczkowski, CPA to senior managers in the firm’s Green Bay office. Tyczkowski has been with the firm for 12 years, most recently serving as a manager.

Mechanical & Fire Protection services Piping | HVAC | Plumbing | Fabrication | Facility Services

Building Comfort for Generations.

800.532.4376 |

Business calendar

New North B2B encourages businesses and organizations looking to attract interested persons to upcoming events to email SEPTEMBER 5 Greater Green Bay Chamber Power Networking Breakfast, 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the chamber office, 300 N. Broadway, Ste. 3A in Green Bay. No cost to attend for chamber members and $35 for nonmembers. For more information, visit or email SEPTEMBER 6 Envision Fond du Lac Area Coffee Connection, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Action Printing, N6637 N. Rolling Meadows Dr. in Fond du Lac. Cost to attend is $5 for members. For more information, call 920.921.9500 or email SEPTEMBER 7 Ideas Amplified, an event from Amplify Oshkosh, 5:30 to 7 p.m. at Fox River Brewing Co., 1501 Arboretum Dr. in Oshkosh. No cost for members. For more information or to register, call 920.303.2266 or go online to SEPTEMBER 8 Young Professionals of Fond du Lac Casino Night, 6 to 10:30 p.m. at Holiday Inn, 625 W. Rolling Meadows Dr. in Fond du Lac. Cost to attend is $35 for YPF members and $45 for general admission. For more information, email or call 920.921.9500.

15 Years v 2002 to 2017

NNB2B | September 2017 | 43

Business Calendar SEPTEMBER 12 Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Before Hours, 8 to 9 a.m. at the chamber office, 101 E. Wisconsin Ave. in Kaukauna. No cost to attend. For more information or to register, go online to

SEPTEMBER 19 Envision Fond du Lac Area Business Connection, 5 to 7 p.m. at FloorQuest, 62 N. Rolling Meadows Dr. in Fond du Lac. Cost to attend is $5 for members. For more information, call 920.921.9500 or email

SEPTEMBER 12 Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Connection Breakfast, 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the chamber building, 120 Jackson St. in Oshkosh. No cost to attend for chamber members. For more information or to register, call 920.303.2266 or go online to

SEPTEMBER 21 Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce Business Card Exchange, 8 to 9 a.m. at Orthopedic and Spine Therapy, One Bank Ave. in Kaukauna. No cost to attend. For more information or to register, email

SEPTEMBER 13 Greater Green Bay Chamber Business After Hours, 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Advance Business & Manufacturing Center, 2701 Larsen Road in Green Bay. No cost to attend for chamber members and $35 for nonmembers. For more information, visit www. or email

SEPTEMBER 28 Technology Hub Conference presented by Northeast Wisconsin Association for Information Technology Professionals, 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at Radisson Paper Valley Hotel & Conference Center, 333 W. College Ave. in Appleton. Cost to attend is $75. For more information or to register, visit

SEPTEMBER 13 Women in Management – Fond du Lac chapter meeting, 12 to 1 p.m. at Holiday Inn, 625 Rolling Meadows Dr. in Fond du Lac. Cost to attend is $15. For more information or to register, contact or visit

OCTOBER 3 Greater Green Bay Chamber Power Networking Breakfast, 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the chamber office, 300 N. Broadway, Ste. 3A in Green Bay. No cost to attend for chamber members and $35 for nonmembers. For more information, visit or email

SEPTEMBER 14 Heart of the Valley Chamber of Commerce Business After Hours, 5 to 7 p.m. at Anduzzi’s Sports Club, 800 S. Washington St. in Kimberly. No charge for members. For more information or to register, go online to SEPTEMBER 14 Women in Management – Fox Cities chapter meeting, 11:45 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Pullmans, 619 S. Olde Oneida St. in Appleton. Cost to attend is $16 for members and $20 for nonmembers. For more information or to register, visit

OCTOBER 4 Envision Fond du Lac Area Coffee Connection, 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at Cujak’s Wine & Coffee Bar, 47 N. Main St. in Fond du Lac. Cost to attend is $5 for members. For more information, call 920.921.9500 or email OCTOBER 5 Women in Management – Discover, Grow, Achieve Conference, 2 to 8:30 p.m. at Holiday Inn, 625 Rolling Meadows Dr. in Fond du Lac. For more information or to register, visit n

Thank you

to the advertisers who made the September 2017 issue of New North B2B possible. AEGIS Financial ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

Investors Community Bank ⎮ . . . . . . . 46

Appleton International Airport ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 11

J. F. Ahern ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 43

Bank First National ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Kaldas Center for Fertility, Surgery & Pregnancy, S.C. ⎮

Bayland Buildings ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 17 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

Borsche Roofing Professionals ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 19

Keller Inc. ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 8

Caliber Law, S.C ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Launch Wisconsin ⎮LaunchWisconsin .com. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 29

Candeo Creative ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 37

Millennium Construction Inc. ⎮ . . . . . 33

Career Options Inc. ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 23

National Exchange Bank & Trust ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 2

Community Blood Center ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 39

Network Health ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 47

Consolidated Construction Company ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . 5

NWTC Corporate Training & Economic Development ⎮

CR Structures Group⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 14 . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 48

Dynamic Designs ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 41

Prevea360 ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 13

Fox Valley Savings Bank ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 25

St. Norbert College MBA program ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 30

Fox Valley Technical College ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 40

Strang, Patteson, Renning, Lewis & Lacy ⎮ . . . . 22

The Grand Meridian ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9

Suttner Accounting ⎮ . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 7

Guident Business Solutions ⎮ . . . . . . 33

Windward Wealth Strategies ⎮ . . . . . 43

44 | September 2017 | NNB2B

15 Years v 2002 to 2017

Guest Commentary

Selecting Dairyland Why Foxconn decided to make Wisconsin its American Home by Tom Still, Wisconsin Technology Council

With Lake Michigan shimmering in the background as they stood inside the Milwaukee Art Museum, Gov. Scott Walker and Foxconn founder Terry Gou sealed a historic deal for Wisconsin’s economy in late July. The reasons why a mid-sized, Midwest state won the competition to land North America’s first liquid crystal display plant – and the 13,000 direct jobs that will come with it – have much less to do with Wisconsin’s offer of financial incentives than with its other tangible and intangible assets. Since the Foxconn talks began to surface in public discussion in June, speculation centered on how Wisconsin might attract the Taiwanese electronics giant if it came down to a bidding war with much larger states such as Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Texas. It may turn out that one or more of those states bid far above the $3 billion in staged financial incentives put on the table by Wisconsin. That means Wisconsin emerged on top for other reasons: v Location, location, location. The old real-estate axiom applies in layers, with Foxconn wanting to open at least one U.S. factory for market and geopolitical reasons; preferring the Midwest to the East and West coasts for its first hightech facility; and centering on Wisconsin’s southeast corridor due to its proximity to Milwaukee and Chicago. Ample land is available. Transportation options include the interstate system, major airports and rail lines. v Energy and water. The southeast corner of Wisconsin is a hub for interstate electric transmission lines and Wisconsin utilities are part of a Midwest consortium to ensure reliability as well as renewable sources. Water is used in the production of glass LCD panels, which are built under “clean room” conditions, and the Lake Michigan watershed provides an ample supply that can be used and recycled. v Higher education. There are 75,000 graduates produced each year by the University of Wisconsin System, the Wisconsin Technical College System and the state’s private colleges and universities. That’s a likely source for some of the workers who will eventually fill Foxconn’s Wisconsin labor force. Wisconsin colleges and universities are also home to a research and development structure that rivals

what can be found in most states – although it’s time to reinvest in that asset before quality wanes. v A manufacturing tradition. Wisconsin has a history of making things that extends to the late 19th century. Its manufacturers are, by and large, innovators who have embraced technology and new ways of producing goods and services. Electrical equipment and medical equipment are already two staples of the tech-based manufacturing landscape in Wisconsin. As Foxconn builds out a supply chain that may include hundreds of companies, it will find that Wisconsin is among the nation’s leaders in original equipment manufacturers. v A vibrant technology foundation. While many people think first of Wisconsin for its agriculture, tourism and manufacturing, its tech sectors have grown steadily over time and provide support for the “big three” in a variety of ways. According to the latest Cyberstates report by CompTIA, the nation’s largest technology association, there are at least 101,000 tech workers in Wisconsin, largely in information technology, tech products and engineering fields. Another 25,000 or so people work in life science fields. Collectively, that’s about 6 percent of the Wisconsin workforce and growing. For emerging tech companies in Wisconsin, Foxconn’s interests in electronics, artificial intelligence, robotics, virtual reality, medical imaging, regenerative medicine, virtual reality and more provide potential opportunities for growth.   v Teamwork. While it’s not always apparent in the day-today debates in the state Capitol, the Walker administration and legislative leaders from both parties pulled together when it counted. Gou praised Walker’s leadership and the governor relied on two Cabinet leaders, Administration Secretary Scott Neitzel and Mark Hogan of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., to drive home the deal. In southeast Wisconsin, officials in Racine and Kenosha counties were integral, and a mix of business groups weighed in to help. The $3 billion, “pay-as-you-grow” incentive package must still be approved by the Legislature, most likely within the next month. It’s a vital part of the deal, of course, but Wisconsin lured Foxconn for a mix of reasons that far exceeded dollars alone. Those same assets can help draw others. n Still is president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. He is the former associate editor of the Wisconsin State Journal. His previous columns on Foxconn and Wisconsin can be found at

15 Years v 2002 to 2017

NNB2B | September 2017 | 45

Key Statistics

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



Per gallon of regular unleaded gasoline.

AUGUST 20. . . . . . . . . AUGUST 13. . . . . . . . . AUGUST 6. . . . . . . . . . JULY 30. . . . . . . . . . . AUGUST 20, 2016. . . .

$2.27 $2.29 $2.30 $2.27 $2.20


$478.9 BILLION 0.6% from June 4.2% from July 2016

Source: New North B2B observations



HOMES SOLD MEDIAN PRICE BROWN County ................. 374.......................$192,950 FOND du LAC County ....... 114 ......................$143,025 OUTAGAMIE County .........233 ......................$171,500 WINNEBAGO County ........230.......................$142,600 WI DEPT. REVENUE COLLECTIONS

Fiscal Year 2017 collections from the Wisconsin Department of Revenue were not released as of B2B press time.

46 | September 2017 | NNB2B




0.2% from June 2.2% from July 2016 AIR PASSENGER TRAFFIC (Local enplanements) JULY 2017 JULY 2016 Appleton Int’l ATW.....................24,338......... 22,850 Austin Straubel GRB.......................... N/A .......27,263

15 Years v 2002 to 2017

LOCAL UNEMPLOYMENT JUNE MAY JUNE ‘16 APPLETON ........3.4% ...... 2.8% ........ 4.3% FOND du LAC ....3.3% .......2.6% ........ 4.5% GREEN BAY........3.4% ...... 2.8% ........ 4.5% NEENAH .............3.4% ...... 2.8%......... 4.3% OSHKOSH ..........3.5% ...... 2.8% ........ 4.4% WISCONSIN .......3.4% ...... 2.8% ........ 4.5%

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

AUGUST....................... $0.342 JULY............................. $0.326 AUGUST 2016.............. $0.353 Source: Wisconsin Public Service

ISM INDEX Numbers above 50 mean expansion. Numbers below 50 mean contraction. JULY. . . . . . . . . . . . . 56.3 JUNE. . . . . . . . . . . . . 57.8


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September 2017  

Regional business magazine; Upskilled Workers, Entrepreneurship, Growth Streaks, business news and information

September 2017  

Regional business magazine; Upskilled Workers, Entrepreneurship, Growth Streaks, business news and information