Southeastern Wisconsin business people make it happen.
Thursday, June 18, 2015
Alverno College announces new flexible degree program, names new dean
June 18, 2015 10:16 AM
Alverno College, located in Milwaukee, will kick off the 2015-16 school years with a new hybrid degree program intended to accommodate the schedules and needs of working women.

The new flexible option will be available in three majors – business, liberal studies and communication – with a format that combines in-class instruction and online learning.

At the heart of the flexible program is an emphasis on preparing women to be innovative leaders.

“The world needs more strong, educated female leaders,” Jill Moore, academic director for adult programs, said in a press release. “That’s why we’re building an emphasis on leadership into these classes. Our students will graduate with the skills they need to be effective leaders in any career environment.”

Program classes will be held each week on Wednesday evenings with additional work to be completed online. Two eight-week sessions will run each semester, and students will be able to pursue up to two four-credit courses in each session so that they can complete 16 credits per semester.

That equation means that a full-time student who continues classes in the summer will be able to earn their four-year degree in three years.

Alverno College will offer financial aid to students enrolled in at least eight credit hours each semester.

Also this week, Alverno named Kevin Casey, Ph.D. dean of its School of Arts and Sciences, effective July 1.

The School of Arts and Sciences is Alverno’s largest school and breaks down into four divisions: humanities; arts; behavioral sciences; and natural sciences, mathematics and technology.

At the helm, Casey will oversee the school’s operations and will collaborate with faculty to support student achievement.

Casey started his Alverno career in 1987 as a professor in history. He chaired the History Department from 1992 to 2004 and from 2012 to 2013. He also was the associate dean of the Humanities division from 2002 to 2009.

Casey is well versed in evaluating student learning, outcome-based teaching, study assessment and teaching history. He previously taught at Augustana College in South Dakota, Hastings College in Nebraska and North Central College in Illinois.

He completed his doctorate and Master of Arts in History at Northern Illinois University. He earned a Bachelor of Arts in History and Philosophy from the University of Minnesota-Morris.

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The Commons moves to Ward4
June 18, 2015 10:18 AM
Entrepreneurial skills accelerator The Commons has moved from Walker's Point to the Ward4 co-working space in the Historic Pritzlaff Building near Milwaukee's Historic Third Ward.

The Commons was previously located in a 4,000-square-foot space at 170 S. First St., in the space above Colectivo. It will have less dedicated space at Ward4—three 10-foot by 12-foot offices—but will have access to a collaborative environment and shared conference, project and event spaces at a more affordable price, said Matt Cordio, co-founder and program director.

The Commons is a nonprofit venture founded last year by the Greater Milwaukee Committee’s Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE) initiative and Startup Milwaukee, with foundational support from a host of academic institutions and businesses across southeastern Wisconsin. In April, it completed the pilot program of its 10-week mentor-driven, seed accelerator, through which entrepreneurial-minded college students can grow early-stage companies and connect with area corporations seeking talent.

"Immersing our students in the local startup and innovation community emerging at Ward4 is aligned with The Commons’ vision of attracting, developing and retaining the brightest entrepreneurial and innovative minds in Wisconsin," Cordio said. "It was a no-brainer to locate here."

Cordio said The Commons is now accepting applications for its next entrepreneurial skills accelerator program, which begins in mid-September. Up to 70 students will be selected to participate. More information is available at

Ward4 officially opened on June 1 to offer co-working and private office space for startup companies. It has attracted several Milwaukee startups, including Bright Cellars, Scanalytics and OnKol.

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Mueller Communications names new partners
June 18, 2015 10:21 AM
Lori Richards and James Madlom have been promoted to become partners and shareholders of Milwaukee-based Mueller Communications Inc.

Richards has been named president of the public relations firm. Madlom has been named chief operating officer.

Founder H. Carl Mueller remains chairman and chief executive officer.

"This move will strengthen and broaden our ability to serve you and help us all grow," Mueller said in a letter to clients. "In short, this move guarantees our firm will be independent and locally owned for decades to come. Lori and James are long-tenured employees of the firm and combined represent more than 25 years of serving clients at Mueller Communications. They have been a key part of the company's growth over the last decade."

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Lovell awards $5 million for innovation projects
June 18, 2015 10:24 AM
Marquette University president Michael Lovell today announced the inaugural recipients of the Milwaukee university's innovation fund awards.

A total of almost $5 million has been granted to 38 projects led by the school’s faculty, students and staff across many disciplines.

The strategic innovation fund was one of the initiatives Lovell identified when he took the helm of the university in the fall. Like a venture capital fund, it will provide seed money for entrepreneurial ventures. Marquette designated $2 million for the fund, and Lovell raised another $3 million in his first two months as president.

Among the areas the 38 projects cover are: academic programs and student support, community collaboration and outreach, water and environmental, advanced manufacturing and engineering, university infrastructure and support, and health and well-being.

More than 270 teams submitted pre-proposals, which were evaluated by the University Innovation Council. Of those, 180 proposals made it to the next round, and 50 were most highly recommended by the Innovation Council’s review teams.

The full list of projects is available here.

“I couldn’t be more pleased with the creativity and passion of our faculty, students and staff throughout this entire process,” Lovell said. “Every proposal we received showed a tremendous amount of innovative, entrepreneurial thinking, and each demonstrated a real desire to make Marquette, the broader community and the world better.”

“What’s most exciting to me is that the projects come from students, faculty and staff, and represent all areas of our campus, from education to engineering to dentistry to a vast array of other disciplines,” said Jeanne Hossenlopp, vice president for research and innovation, who led the innovation fund process. “Further, each of the university’s strategic plan themes will be moved forward by these innovative projects.”

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Milwaukee Biz Blog: The Wisconsin opportunity
June 18, 2015 10:27 AM
With graduations happening across the state, great talent is ready to join Wisconsin's workforce. We have high school, technical college, four-year and graduate students completing their diplomas, credentials, and degrees.

Read more in Tuesday’s Milwaukee Biz Blog by Reggie Newson, secretary of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development.

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U.S. Bank adds new feature to fireworks show
June 18, 2015 10:29 AM
U.S. Bank will again be sponsoring a public fireworks display along Milwaukee’s lakefront on July 3 to celebrate Independence Day.

Viewers will be treated to a new pyrotechnic technique this year during the show. A long duration weeping willow display will span 1,000 feet of sky. It will be created through the use of a 16-inch, 70-pound shell shot 1,300 feet in the air.

“The entire fireworks show will be magnificent, and this huge weeping willow display will make it even more special,” said Bill Bertha, president of U.S. Bank in Milwaukee. “U.S. Bank is excited to sponsor this festive event that is free and fun for everyone.”

The annual fireworks display will start around 9:30 p.m. The show will be staged from barges on Lake Michigan, off Veterans Park. A high-tech electronic system times the fireworks show, which includes a variety of colors, noises and patterns.

Lincoln Memorial Drive will be closed to traffic to allow for pedestrian travel, and the thousands of revelers are encouraged to take public transportation or the Summerfest shuttle to the lakefront.

U.S. Bank has 49 branches and more than 3,500 employees in the Milwaukee market.

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Bubbler Quote of the Week
June 18, 2015 10:32 AM

“The future of America is early stage companies that develop, and it always has been. And I thought that it would be better to do something from a company and personal perspective that I thought was more important, which is helping to build the next generation of high-tech companies in the Midwest.”
~Stephen Einhorn, founder of Capital Midwest
Read more in BizTimes Milwaukee’s new cover story by Molly Dill: ‘Making Deals:’ Einhorns target technology startups in Midwest.

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BizTimes Bubbler Executive of the Week: Gregg Brunclik
June 18, 2015 10:33 AM

Gregg Brunclik, president/CEO of Clearwing Productions Inc.    
Company address: 11101 W. Mitchell Street, West Allis, WI 53214
Industry: Business service – event production services
Number of employees: 90 full-time employees, plus seasonal over-hires
Family: Wife, Diane; Nine children (Five boys/Four girls). Three sons are involved in the business.

What was the smartest thing Clearwing Productions did in the past year?
“We engaged a new sales associate in the Los Angeles entertainment market. His focus is solely on landing new tours. His efforts have previously landed tours like Norah Jones, Blue Man Group, Mumford & Sons, Linkin Park and many others. Although we’re already well engaged in U.S. concert touring, his contacts should escalate our client base to higher profile acts here and internationally.”

What do your production services encompass?    
“We provide event production with sound, lighting, staging, video and even trucking for high profile concert tours, festivals, and corporate and special events. We are best known around Milwaukee as the production vendor for the mother of all festivals – Summerfest. We supply equipment for all the stages. We also do prestigious events elsewhere like the Super Bowl/NFL Tailgate Party and Super Bowl Boulevard, as well as Target, Polaris and Best Buy national meetings.”

Why do you maintain offices in West Allis and in Phoenix, Ariz.?    
“Once we’d saturated the Midwest in the busiest times, we needed to bolster business in the slower winter season up here. Phoenix provided an opposing piston (if you will) driving revenue in winter, the busy season there. Over the 10 years we’ve since opened down there, both offices have revved up year round, eliminating the seasonal effect in both markets. Life is good.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?    
“Yes for both. We’ve been averaging four to six new employees per year for the last several years. We’ve already added 10 in 2015. We’ve also averaged $2 million to $3 million for the last three years in new assets acquisitions. We’ve already spent $1.5 million on new equipment in 2015. We expect new opportunities yet to come will dictate even more asset acquisitions later this year.”

What will be Clearwing Production’s main challenges in the next year?
“New domestic and international business opportunities have been so abundant for the last couple years that there is never enough gear (or staff) in the right place at the right time. As much as we gear up, the business continues to grow quickly, always demanding more and more. Facilitating all that gets challenging some days.”   

How do you keep pace with technology as it continues to evolve so rapidly?    
“One of our primary business advantages has been as ‘early adopters’ of technological advances in sound and lighting especially. We attend yearly trade shows in Europe that introduce new technology about six months prior to debut of those products in the U.S. We place orders for cutting-edge technology at those shows and therefore take delivery when other U.S. providers are just being introduced to the product. We optimize ROI by being first in the market to have gear being specified as the most state-of-the art by the most discriminating artists.”

What have been some of your favorite projects and/or events to work on? What have been your most challenging projects?
“My favorites have always been the most challenging. Successfully executing complex events with challenging logistics is the best way to get the ultimate sensation of satisfaction. A private party for Molson Beer on an arctic island 3,000 miles north of Ottawa Ontario with the Red Hot Chili Peppers and a show for Gary Sinise’s Lt. Dan Band at the Coast Guard Base on Kodiak Island, Alaska, were both very exciting to execute. We’ve also done numerous concerts at the Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, over the years. Those were fun too as VERY limited civilian visits are allowed there.”

Do you have a business mantra?
“Service is everything. No real progress comes from working for any client once. The key to a successful business is repeat business. It’s easier to keep a good client than find one to replace him. Service is everything.”

What was the best advice you ever received?
“There’s no substitute for hard work. Success is earned. So, I’ve always worked hard.”

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
“Wow, that’s a tough one as you see it all in the entertainment business. But I was on stage with a band one time when a foot long chili dog, complete with Cheese Whiz, beans and all came out of the audience and hit the arrogant lead singer of the band in the face right in the middle of a song. That was pretty funny.”

What do you like to do in your free time?
“I have nine children and five grandchildren. Free time? What free time? But lying in the sun for a few minutes here in the summer (or in Phoenix) in the winter is very relaxing. And, I have been able to travel the world both for business and pleasure. I really enjoy that, too, especially if Diane or any of the kids are along.”

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Bubbler Calendar
June 18, 2015 10:36 AM

*Thursday, June 18, East Town Association will continue the 2015 season of “Jazz in the Park.” The free outdoor music series, presented by Boston Store and Columbia St. Mary’s, brings live jazz to Cathedral Square in downtown Milwaukee. Concerts are held each Thursday from 5 to 9 p.m. The music kicks off at 6 p.m. with a happy hour scheduled for 5 p.m. This week’s show will feature two performers – Incendio and Terra Guitarra. “Jazz in the Park” runs through Thursday, Sept. 3. For more information on the series, visit

*Tuesday, June 23, “Chill on the Hill” will feature live music performed by Extra Crispy Brass Band and Daley Debs Baton & Drum Corp. “Chill on the Hill” is a free weekly music series that brings live music acts to Humboldt Park in Bay View each Tuesday evening. The music kicks off at 6 p.m. The summer series, presented by the Bay View Neighborhood Association, runs through Tuesday, Sept. 1. For more information on the series, visit

*Thursday, June 25, Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. and the South Shore Chamber of Commerce will host Facebook 101 for Small Businesses from 5 to 6 p.m. at the Cudahy Family Library, 3500 Library Drive in Cudahy. The free event will cover the ins and outs of using Facebook to effectively market and establish an online presence. For more information or to register, visit

*Wednesday, July 8, FUEL Milwaukee will hold a discussion on talent attraction and retention with keynote speaker Debbie Seeger, of Brookfield-based Patina Solutions. The event, themed “Shift Happens in the Workplace,” will explore strategies and solutions companies can employ to build and keep top talent. Seeger will also address how employees of different generations can collaborate to optimize their company’s performance. The event will run from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, located at 756 N. Milwaukee Street in Milwaukee. The event, which is being presented by FUEL’s Talent Attraction & Retention Council, is free for FUEL members and costs $10 for non-members. A light breakfast and networking will be included. For more information or to register, visit

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BizTimes Poll Question
June 18, 2015 10:38 AM
Do you believe humans contribute to the causes of climate change?

Tell us what you think by responding to the BizTimes Poll Question today.

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Bubbler Networking Resources

» African American Chamber of Commerce Milwaukee
» American Marketing Association-Milwaukee Chapter
» Association of Management Professionals LLC
» Business Marketing Association-Milwaukee
» Conservative Young Professionals of Milwaukee
» Creative Alliance of Greater Milwaukee
» Executive Women International-Milwaukee Chapter
» Executive Women's Golf Association-Milwaukee Chapter
» FUEL Milwaukee
» Grandville-Brown Deer Chamber of Commerce
» Greater Brookfield Chamber of Commerce
» Mequon-Thiensville Chamber of Commerce
» Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC)
» National Association of Women Business Owners
» Professional Dimensions
» Public Relations Society of America - Wisconsin Chapter,
» South Suburban Chamber of Commerce
» Sheboygan County Chamber of Commerce
» Summit Young Professionals
» Tempo Waukesha
» Tempo Milwaukee » Tempo Washington County
» The Gateway to Milwaukee
» Waukesha County Business Alliance
» West Allis/West Milwaukee Chamber of Commerce
» Wisconsin Better Business Bureau
» Women's FOCUS
» Young Professionals of Waukesha County
» YP Impact

Erica Breunlin BizTimes Bubbler Weekly is compiled by BizTimes Milwaukee reporter Erica Breunlin. This bulletin is published every Thursday morning. Send news tips to or call her at (414) 336-7121.
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