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Thursday, April 2, 2015
Milwaukee Downtown announces Downtown Dining Week lineup
April 2, 2015 10:59 AM
Close to 50 of Milwaukee’s top dining spots will offer patrons special meal deals during the 10th annual Downtown Dining Week, scheduled to run June 4-11.

Downtown Dining Week gives Milwaukee residents and visitors an opportunity to check out Milwaukee cuisine at a range of restaurants, who feature three-course menu options at $12.50 for lunch and $25 or $35 for dinner.

Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21, the lead organizer of the food festival, announced the 2015 lineup of participating restaurants earlier this week.

Participants are: Ale Asylum Riverhouse, Benihana, The Brown Bottle, Café at the Pfister, Café Calatrava, The Capital Grille, Carnevor, Carson’s Prime Steaks & Famous Barbecue, Club Charlies, Coquette Café, Distil, Hinterland Erie Street Gastropub, Indulge, Joey Buona’s, Kanpai, Karma Bar & Grill, Kil@wat, The Knick, The Loaded Slate, Louise’s, Lucid Lounge, Mader’s, Mason Street Grill, METRO Restaurant & Lounge, Mi•key’s, Miller Time Pub & Grill, Millioke, Milwaukee ChopHouse, Mo’s – A Place for Steaks, Onesto, Port of Call, The Pub Club, Rock Bottom Restaurant & Brewery, Rodizio Grill Brazilian Steakhouse, The Rumpus Room, Sake Tumi, Smoke Shack, Swig, Trinity Three Irish Pubs, Tulip, Umami Moto, Upper 90 Sports Pub, Vagabond, Ward’s House of Prime, Water Buffalo, Who’s On Third and Zarletti.

“Downtown Dining Week invites out-of-town guests and area residents to get a taste for all that downtown Milwaukee has to offer,” Beth Weirick, chief executive officer of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 said in a press release. “This week is a chance to celebrate our top-notch steakhouses, ethnic eateries and cozy cafes.”

Diners who participate in the week will also have a chance to win dining certificates to use at later dates. Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 will give four diners $550 in certificates. Diners who complete the organization’s Downtown Dining Week survey after their culinary experiences will be eligible to win. The organization will randomly select four winners from the pool of survey respondents.

Menus for Downtown Dining Week will be available for viewing next month at www.milwaukee, according to Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21.

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Greater Milwaukee Foundation announces free transit service on April 28
April 2, 2015 11:01 AM
The Greater Milwaukee Foundation will ease public transit riders’ commutes on April 28, when rides will be free on transit systems in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Washington and Ozaukee counties.

The day of free service is made possible by the Greater Milwaukee Foundation’s “Gift to the Community” initiative, in which the foundation is gifting resources to the community as part of its centennial year. Gifts highlight some of the region’s most critical assets.

“Transit systems in our region provide a critical service for our workforce and offer access to numerous points of public interest and necessity for people in our community,” Ellen Gilligan, president and chief executive officer of the foundation, said in a press release. “With free fares all day, April 28 will be a great opportunity to schedule a doctor appointment, take a trip to the mall, visit a friend or perhaps try an alternate way of commuting to your job using public transportation.”

Transit systems taking part in the day of free service are: Milwaukee County Transit System, Waukesha Metro Transit and Waukesha County Transit, Washington County Commuter Express, Washington County Shared Ride Taxi, West Bend Shared Ride Taxi and Hartford City Taxi.

Last month’s foundation gift to the community enabled area residents to secure free admission to the Mitchell Park Horticultural Conservatory over one weekend. More than 27,000 people participated, according to the foundation.

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Top 10 Businesses of the Year announced
April 2, 2015 11:04 AM
The Waukesha County Business Alliance and BizTimes Media have announced the 2015 Top 10 Businesses of the Year.

The annual awards program recognizes companies headquartered in southeastern Wisconsin that have demonstrated consistent financial growth and dedication to good business practices through employee relations, customer-focused commitment and community service involvement.

The Top 10 Businesses of the Year are:

Annex Wealth Management Financial Services
Location: Elm Grove
Industry: Wealth management
President and chief executive: David Spano

Aries Industries Inc.
Location: Waukesha
Industry: Manufacturer of closed-circuit TV inspection and rehabilitation equipment
President and CEO: Nick Kroll

EmbedTek LLC
Location: Hartland
Industry: Single-purpose computers and integrated displays
CEO: Dan Aicher

Generac Power Systems Inc.
Location: Waukesha
Industry: Manufacturer of  mobile generators and other equipment
President and CEO: Aaron Jagdfeld

HUSCO International
Location: Waukesha
Industry: Manufacturer of hydraulic and electrohydraulic controls
President and CEO: Austin Ramirez

ProHealth Care
Location: Waukesha
Industry: Health care
CEO: Susan Edwards

Ruekert & Mielke Inc.
Location: Waukesha
Industry: Municipal infrastructure management
President: Stan Sugden

Swick Technologies LLC
Location: New Berlin
Industry: IT managed services
President: Gary Swick

Tailored Label Products Inc.
Location: Menomonee Falls
Industry: Industrial and consumer product labels
CEO: Michael Erwin

W.I.S. Logistics Inc.
Location: New Berlin
Industry: Transportation
CEO: Jonathan Teraoka

The Top 10 Businesses of the Year will be honored at a luncheon to be presented by the Waukesha Business Alliance and BizTimes Media on Thursday, June 11, at 11:30 a.m. at the Country Springs Hotel in Pewaukee. To register to attend, click here.

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Regional companies named among best Wisconsin workplaces for millennials
April 2, 2015 11:10 AM
Newaukee on Tuesday revealed the best places in Wisconsin for young professionals to work, after a panel of young professional leaders from across the state vetted nominations submitted by employees.

Winners will receive “Bubbler Awards” and will be honored at a ceremony held during YPWeek Wisconsin’s kickoff on Saturday, April 11, in Wausau.

Among this year’s Bubbler Award winners are a handful of companies located in southeastern Wisconsin: Kohl’s Corporation of Menomonee Falls, Harley-Davidson Motor Company of Milwaukee, Robert W. Baird & Co. of Milwaukee, United Hospital System of Kenosha and z2 Marketing of Waukesha.

Additional award winners include Associated Bank of Green Bay; Greenheck of Wausau; Shoutlet, Inc. of Madison; Weidert Group, Inc. of Appleton; and Zendesk of Madison.

The awards program emphasizes “what Millennials are looking for in today’s workplace,” according to Newaukee, and factors in competitive salary and benefits, opportunities for development and advancement, and both employee and community engagement.

“The Bubbler Awards shine a light on the companies who have made great strides to accommodate the interests of a shifting workforce,” Angela Damiani, president of Newaukee, said in a press release. “A lot of attention is paid to the picture of Millennials as discontent or disinterested in traditional forms of employment. We are eager to showcase the realty of how many Wisconsin-based companies are allowing young professionals to call this state home.”

Newaukee is partnering with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation and other young professionals groups on fleshing out the first-ever YPWeek Wisconsin. The week will roll out with more than 90 events in eight cities Saturday, April 11, through Saturday, April 18. For more information on the lineup of events and their locations, visit

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Steele Solutions announces new CEO, president
April 2, 2015 11:12 AM
Franklin-based Steele Solutions Inc. this week announced that Mike Thelen has transitioned from company president to chief executive officer and chairman of the board. Co-owner Kevin O’Neill will replace Thelen as president.

“Steele Solutions has grown every year since its founding,” O’Neill said. “Our new leadership structure will help us plan and support continued annual growth while retaining the product quality and customer care we’re known for. We are now positioned to ensure that our customers and business partners continue to enjoy the ‘Steele Solutions Experience’ when working with us.”

Thelen helped launch the company in 1996 after working several years in the material handling industry. He will remain active in its day-to-day operations and in strategic planning for the corporation.

O’Neill joined Steele Solutions in 1997 as vice president of sales and marketing, a role now held by Garland Bridgewater.

Terry Young, another founding owner of Steele Solutions, will remain as vice president of engineering.  

Steele Solutions is a designer and manufacturer of industrial mezzanines, equipment platforms and other steel structures. It operates out of three facilities in metropolitan Milwaukee, and it also has offices in Cleveland and Philadelphia. The company’s steel structures have been installed throughout the U.S. and in 12 countries.

Along with the leadership changes, Steele Solutions announced it is currently hiring for multiple positions in the sales, engineering, drafting and production departments.

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MillerCoors becomes ‘official beer partner of bowling’
April 2, 2015 11:14 AM
Chicago-based MillerCoors LLC, which brews much of its beer in Milwaukee, has reached a two-year agreement with Arlington, Texas-based Strike Ten Entertainment to become the “Official Beer Partner of Bowling.”

“This partnership is unique because rather than leading with a single brand, we’ll be promoting MillerCoors’ broad portfolio of high-quality beers and hard ciders,” said John Harbuck, president of Strike Ten Entertainment. “We also benefit through MillerCoors training tools and category insights, which will help us grow the beverage category for our 3,500 bowling center members across the country.”

To further support efforts to build its beer business, Strike Ten Entertainment has hired an in-house trade brewer who will work directly with centers to provide training and educational tools.

“MillerCoors and our brands have enjoyed a long history with the bowling community, and we’re proud to build on that relationship with this unique partnership,” said John Beck, vice president of on-premise national accounts for MillerCoors.

The centralized sponsor-activation arm of the bowling industry, Strike Ten Entertainment’s mission is to increase national awareness of bowling and to assist the bowling industry in developing new bowlers and increasing the frequency of existing bowlers.

In other MillerCoors news, the company recently purchased property at 3800 W. Wells St. in Milwaukee for $1,019,000. MillerCoors (and Miller Brewing before it) had leased the property since the 1970s to store fermentation equipment.

“A few weeks ago, we had the opportunity to buy a share of this property, and did so–we like to own our business interests whenever possible,” said spokeswoman Cat Corrigan.

Lastly, MillerCoors this week is releasing two new products: the Blue Moon White IPA and the Crispin Venus Reigns. The former combines the styles of American IPA and Blue Moon’s classic Belgian White. The latter is Crispin’s first-ever pear barrel-aged cider. It is made from Colfax golden pear wine, aged for 26 months to full maturity.

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Brewers add Associated Bank Check Deck
April 2, 2015 11:16 AM
The Milwaukee Brewers have announced Miller Park will include a freshly renovated seating area called The Associated Bank Check Deck this season.

The area, formerly known as the Harley-Davidson Deck, can hold 42 people, with prices beginning at $47 per person, and is available for group rentals. Those seated in the Check Deck have access to an all-you-can-eat buffet including unlimited soft drinks beginning one hour before game time and ending one hour after the first pitch. Ticketholders also receive two complimentary draft beers per adult and access to a private bar and flat screen high definition TVs.

“We’re excited about Associated’s enhanced partnership with the Brewers organization as well as our increased prominence at Miller Park,” said Christopher Piotrowski, executive vice president and chief marketing officer at Associated Bank. “We have been a business banking partner and official sponsor of the Brewers since 2006, the year we launched our unique Brewer-themed checking.  We are expanding our partnership for the community, the love of baseball and to support the Brewers in building an even better fan experience.”

The Check Deck will include fan engagement activities that are being finalized by Associated Bank. The bank will also offer special events for Associated customers, additional ATM machines and a Matt Garza gnome giveaway during the August 2 game. The bank also plans to add a charitable element to the partnership.

Associated Bank has also included in its expanded Brewers partnership an Associated Bank “Check In” gate in left-centerfield. Associated Bank customers who display a valid credit or debit card can access the stadium through the gate. Fans with Brewers Checking will also receive 2-for-1 ticket discounts on select games and a 10 percent discount in the Brewers Team Store.

“Associated Bank has been a valued partner of the Brewers for a decade, and today’s announcement is another example of their committed support of the team and community,” said Rick Schlesinger, Brewers chief operating officer. “This is a partnership on many levels, and offers benefits to fans and the community through hospitality, entertainment, promotional and philanthropic elements.”

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Bubbler Quote of the Week
April 2, 2015 11:19 AM

“Is it any wonder then that tools have emerged to manage the geographic spreading of work? Video conferencing, email, chatting, software solutions that replace in-person IT and HR support, mobile computing, and online collaboration tools for meetings and document sharing are now mainstays. Collectively, these tools have created a 24-7 work culture that demands still better tools.”
~Kay Plantes, an MIT-trained economist, business strategy consultant, columnist and author.
Read Tuesday’s Milwaukee Biz Blog by Plantes: Disrupting the workplace.

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Hot Bubbler Books
April 2, 2015 11:20 AM
Five bestselling business books you should read:

1. “Do the Kind Thing,” by Daniel Lubetzky
2. “Data Driven,” by Jenny Dearborn
3. “Force for Good,” by John Taft
4. “Jim Cramer’s Get Rich Carefully,” by James Cramer
5. “Homemakers,” by Brit Morin

Courtesy of

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Bubbler Calendar
April 2, 2015 11:24 AM

*Thursday, April 2, the Milwaukee Art Museum will grant free admission to families and individual visitors, thanks to the support of Target. Free admission is awarded on the first Thursday of each month with help from Target. Groups are not eligible for the promotion. The museum is open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. and is located at 700 N. Art Museum Drive in Milwaukee. For more information on its exhibits, visit

*Friday, April 3, a Good Friday service will take place at the Italian Conference Center, located at 631 E. Chicago St. in Milwaukee, from noon to 1:15 p.m. The service, free and open to the public, will be led by Rev. Julius Malone, senior pastor at New Testament Church of Milwaukee and author of “Going Through the Storms of Life.” The service will also feature music by “Just Love” with Tim and Kelry Kirschenmann.

*Saturday, April 4, the Milwaukee County Winter Farmers Market will be held at the Mitchell Park Domes, located at 524 S. Layton Boulevard in Milwaukee. The indoor urban farmers’ market takes place on Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and features fresh, locally grown produce. Admission is free. The market began in November and will run through mid-April. For more information, click here.

*Tuesday, April 7, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce will advise business leaders on best practices for addressing cultural disparities in the workplace at an event titled “Working Across Cultures – How You Manage Your Talent Can Make or Break Your Business.” The program, presented by the MMAC’s World Trade Association International Business Series, will feature insight from speakers representing area companies. The event will run from 4 to 7:30 p.m. at the Milwaukee Yacht Club, located at 1700 N. Lincoln Memorial Drive in Milwaukee. Admission costs $20 for WTA members, $30 for non-members and $10 for students. For more information or to register, visit

*Tuesday, April 7, historian John Gurda’s newest documentary, “Milwaukee: A City Built on Water,” will debut during a special preview screening at Discovery World. The documentary focuses on Milwaukee’s reliance on and relationship with water. The special preview screening, presented by Milwaukee Public Television, is free and open to the public with limited seating available. Doors for the event will open at 5:30 p.m. with the screening scheduled to start at 7 p.m. Discovery World is located at 500 N. Harbor Drive in Milwaukee. For more information on the documentary, visit

*Wednesday, April 8, the Greater Brookfield Chamber of Commerce will present a workshop on “Using LinkedIn to Build Your Business: Beyond the Basics.” The workshop follows a March 11th workshop that highlighted the starting points of using LinkedIn. During the April event, attendees will learn next steps to use the social media outlet in order to boost personal and business branding. Along with instructing attendees on how to grow their LinkedIn network effectively, the workshop will cover elements of endorsements, recommendations and privacy, among others. The event will run from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Ottawa University, located at 245 S. Executive Drive, Suite 110, in Brookfield. Cost is $29 for chamber members and $49 for non-members. For more information or to register, click here.

*Wednesday, April 8, the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Wisconsin will hold its April membership luncheon at the United Community Center’s Café El Sol. The event will feature networking, lunch and a special guest speaker. Registration will open at 11 a.m. with lunch scheduled for 11:30 a.m. Cost is $5 for chamber members and $10 for non-members. The United Community Center is located at 1028 S. 9th St. in Milwaukee. For more information on the luncheon or to register, click here.

*Wednesday, April 8, FUEL Milwaukee will host an orientation for new members and prospective members. During the orientation, the young professionals’ organization, which is an extension of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, will highlight the benefits of membership. Attendees will also be able to network with one another. The event will run from 5 to 6:30 p.m. at the MMAC with mingling, a formal presentation and a question and answer session. The MMAC’s offices are located at 756 N. Milwaukee St., fourth floor, in downtown Milwaukee. For more information or to register, click here.

*Tuesday, April 14, the Waukesha County Business Alliance will hold a Professional Women’s Development Network Breakfast featuring Cecelia Gore, executive director of the Brewers Community Foundation. Gore’s speech will center on “Leadership Lessons from Home Plate” as she details her leadership path, her organizational goals and the challenges of being a female executive in a male-dominated industry. The event will run from 7:45 to 9:15 a.m. at Marriott Milwaukee West, located at W231 N1600 Corporate Court in Pewaukee. Cost is $30 for alliance members. Non-members interested in attending should call the alliance at 262-542-4249. For more information or to register, click here.   

*Thursday, April 16, the Wisconsin LGBT Chamber of Commerce will hold a networking breakfast at Bella Caffe, an LGBT business located in Milwaukee. The event, which is open to the public, will run from 8 to 9 a.m. with time for both networking and updates from the chamber. Coffee will be provided to attendees. Bella Caffe is located at 189 N. Milwaukee St. For more information on the chamber’s events, visit

*Wednesday, April 22, UW-Milwaukee’s School of Continuing Education will hold an information session on “First Steps to Starting a Business.” Along with learning how to evaluate the feasibility of a business idea, participants will learn how to weigh the risks and rewards of starting a business and calculate costs. The course will also cover marketing strategies, legal considerations, financial resources available to entrepreneurs and more. The course will run from 6 to 9 p.m. at the UWM School of Continuing Education, located at 161 W. Wisconsin Ave. in downtown Milwaukee. Cost is $29, and seating is limited. For more information or to secure a spot, click here.

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BizTimes Poll Question
April 2, 2015 11:27 AM
Should Wisconsin businesses be permitted to refuse to serve customers based on their sexual lifestyle preferences?

Tell us 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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