Southeastern Wisconsin business people make it happen.
Thursday, March 12, 2015
Wallenda to attempt record tightrope walk at 2015 state fair
March 12, 2015 11:38 AM
Nik Wallenda, an internationally-known daredevil renowned for his extreme tightrope walking stunts, will attempt to complete his longest walk yet at the 2015 Wisconsin State Fair.

Wallenda’s act will challenge him to walk above the Milwaukee Mile racetrack for 1,560 feet. The walk will suspend him more than 10 stories above the track as he crosses a wire no wider than a nickel, according to state fair officials.

The walk is scheduled for Tuesday, Aug. 11, at 7 p.m. Tickets for the act will go on sale on Tuesday, March 21, at and at the fair’s ticket office, 7722 W. Greenfield Ave. Tickets, which will admit fairgoers into the grandstand, cost $15.

Wallenda is a nine-time World Record holder and is part of the seventh generation of the “Great Wallenda” family, famous for their storied history of tightrope walking. Among Wallenda’s most recent feats was a November 2014 walk he completed between two skyscrapers in downtown Chicago. Wallenda’s trek started at 588 feet and ascended him to 671 feet. He completed the walk in 20 minutes, even as he was blindfolded for part of the stunt.

Wallenda’s career has also included successful wire-walking feats across Niagara Falls and across the Grand Canyon, both of which added to his collection of World Records. He set his first World Record in Japan for a four-layer, eight-person pyramid act on a high wire in 2001.

The daredevil has been tightrope walking since age 2 and performing professionally since age 13.

The 2015 Wisconsin State Fair, presented by U.S. Cellular, will run from Thursday, Aug. 6, through Sunday, Aug. 16. For more information on the 2015 fair’s entertainment lineup, visit its website.

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New Sojourner Peace app launches for survivors of domestic violence
March 12, 2015 11:41 AM
A new application developed by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee’s App Brewery has given Sojourner Family Peace Center one more outlet to help individuals impacted by domestic abuse connect with emergency help.

The Sojourner Peace app, announced today, features links and phone numbers for resource centers where abuse victims can seek help “discreetly and quickly,” according to UWM officials.

The new app, available for free for both Apple and Android devices, also includes special privacy features that ensure the protection of users. One capability allows users to fade their screen to black and clear browsing history with a quick touch.

The app’s icon can also be hidden behind a more generic app button.

“We know that the information and support that a survivor can get by talking to an advocate saves lives,” Carmen Pitre, executive director of Sojourner Family Peace Center, said in a press release. “This is one more tool to make information easily available.”

The nonprofit, which centers its mission on helping survivors of family abuse through the recovery process, has started sharing the new app with its clients.

Beyond emergency contact capabilities, the app jumps on the front end of domestic abuse by allowing users to take a confidential quiz on the health of their relationship.

While the app is currently available in English and Spanish, a Russian version may soon make a debut as Sojourner Family Peace Center works to make the app accessible to as many people as possible.

“When we found out what Sojourner does and how their work affects those who’ve been abused, we thought it was a project that could really make a difference,” said UWM App Brewery manager Dustin Hahn.

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Patrick Cudahy names new president
March 12, 2015 11:43 AM
After a near 30-year run at Cudahy-based Patrick Cudahy LLC., Daniel Kapella has been promoted to president of the company.

Kapella, whose promotion was effective on March 1, will oversee daily management functions of Patrick Cudahy, which produces a variety of specialty meats.

Kapella succeeds William Otis, who was recently promoted to executive vice president of operations for the packaged meats division of Smithfield Foods, Inc. the parent company of Patrick Cudahy.

Prior to becoming president, Kapella had served as senior vice president of sales and marketing since July 2011. He previously worked as vice president of sales and marketing for the company.

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Ottawa University partners with Gateway on low-cost bachelor’s degrees
March 12, 2015 11:45 AM
Ottawa University has partnered with another area technical school, Kenosha-based Gateway Technical College, to offer to offer a bachelor’s degree program for adult learners that costs less than $20,000.

The Ottawa, Kan.-based school announced in February it would partner with Pewaukee-based Waukesha County Technical College to do the same. The colleges have cited the rising cost of tuition for secondary education as the reason for the partnerships.

Ottawa University expanded into the Milwaukee area in 1994 with a location in Brookfield. Students in the new “education pathway” would begin with an associate degree at Gateway and then enroll at Ottawa to complete a bachelor’s degree.

Gateway Technical College students will be allowed to transfer up to 80 credit hours (a full associate degree) to Ottawa University. They would then need to complete another 44 credit hours to receive a bachelor’s degree, which could be accomplished in less than two years.

The program is available to first-time adult student transfers with an OU Transfer Advantage Scholarship. With the scholarship, the total cost of the bachelor’s degree is less than $20,000.

“Ottawa University has a long history of providing a solid education to its students, and we are thrilled our graduates have this opportunity to continue their education,” said Bryan Albrecht, president and chief executive officer of Gateway Technical College. “This partnership with Ottawa University, and at a reduced rate, will benefit their future career and life.”

“Gateway Technical College is a well-respected institution in southeastern Wisconsin,” said Kevin Eichner, president of Ottawa University. “By forming this partnership, Ottawa University and Gateway are able to collaboratively give adult learners access to the education that can change their lives at a very affordable cost. Not only is that a win for students, it’s a win for higher education.”

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MRA to host veteran hiring event Friday
March 12, 2015 11:48 AM
Waukesha-based MRA-The Management Association will host a recruitment and engagement event Friday for employers who would like to learn how to attract and retain veterans and individuals with disabilities.

Attendees will learn how to build relationships with resource groups serving veterans and individuals with disabilities, make their organizations more disability- and veteran-friendly, network with peers facing similar challenges and effectively communicate their talent needs.

“We find that many organizations have diversity goals but often struggle to achieve them. This ‘Recruiting and Engaging Veterans and Individuals With Disabilities’ event will help them discover new ways to identify, attract and retain employees with the right fit for their organization. They will also learn the latest on affirmative action rules and effective recruiting today,” said Michelle Roloff, MRA’s senior affirmative action/equal employment opportunity manager.

The event will run from 7:30 a.m. to noon Friday at the MRA training center, N19 W24400 Riverwood Drive in Waukesha. It is free for MRA member companies and $95 for non-members. For more information or to register, visit

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BizTracker: Milwaukee employment market shines in Manpower survey
March 12, 2015 11:50 AM
The metropolitan Milwaukee area has the fourth-best employment outlook in the nation, according to the latest ManpowerGroup survey of employers.

Employers in the Milwaukee-Waukesha-West Allis metropolitan statistical area expect to hire at a vigorous pace during the second quarter, according to the Manpower Employment Outlook Survey. Among employers surveyed in the Milwaukee area, 31 percent plan to hire more employees from April through June. That number is offset by the 3 percent that plan to reduce payrolls, while 62 percent of employers expect to maintain current staff levels and 4 percent indicate they are not sure of their plans. That yields a Net Employment Outlook of 28 percent.

For more, read Tuesday’s BizTimes BizTracker.

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Milwaukee Biz Blog: State of the City address
March 12, 2015 11:53 AM
Tuesday’s Milwaukee Biz Blog is the full text of Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett’s 2015 State of the City address, which he gave Monday morning.

Read the address here.

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BizTimes accepts nominations for business awards
March 12, 2015 11:55 AM
BizTimes Media is accepting nominations for its annual Bravo! Entrepreneur and I.Q. (Innovation Quotient) Awards.

Bravo! Entrepreneur Awards will be presented to business executives who exemplify excellence in entrepreneurship, including bold leadership, accomplishments, tenure, innovation, risk-taking, staff development and community involvement.

I.Q. Awards will salute companies for their innovations in business. Recipients will have a track record for innovative products, services or processes.

Self-nominations are welcomed. Nominations will be due by March 23 at 5 p.m.

Nominees for the Bravo! Entrepreneur and I.Q. Awards must be based in Wisconsin and have a physical presence in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington, Sheboygan, Racine, Walworth or Kenosha County and be able to attend the Bravo! Entrepreneur/I.Q. Awards event.

The awards will be presented at the Bravo! Entrepreneur/I.Q. Awards Luncheon at BizExpo on May 20. In addition, each Bravo! Entrepreneur and I.Q. Award winners will be featured in the May 18 issue of BizTimes Milwaukee.

For more information or to nominate an executive for a Bravo! Entrepreneur Award or a company for an I.Q. Awards, visit or contact Sarah Sinsky at (414) 336-7100.

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Bubbler Quote of the Week
March 12, 2015 11:57 AM

“I just know that if people are treated good they generally work better. And they’ll stay. They won’t leave.”
~Tom Krist, president of Milwaukee-based WFA Staffing  
Read more in BizTimes Milwaukee’s new cover story by Erica Breunlin: The Connectors: Staffing companies bridge the employment divide.

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BizTimes Bubbler Executive of the Week: Garza
March 12, 2015 11:59 AM

Eduardo Garza, Jr., director of Veteran Services at Concordia University Wisconsin
Institution address: 12800 N. Lakeshore Dr.  Mequon, WI 53097
Industry: Higher education

What interested you in assuming leadership of CUW’s new Veterans Services Office?
“The position of director of veteran services allows me the opportunity to take care of our veterans and their families. As a former Navy officer, the most important thing we can do in leadership is take care of people. As the director, I can personally be involved in providing the assistance they need or utilize the contacts I have to provide the resources for veterans or their families.”

What is the primary mission of this office? How will you address the individual academic needs of military veterans?
“The primary mission of this office will be to assist veterans in attaining their academic goals. Some veterans are not fully aware of how they transfer their military transcripts for credit, how to apply for educational benefits, how to transfer benefits to their family members, or get connected with the Veterans Affairs office in Milwaukee should they medical assistance. This office will be a resource to get connected with the right people.  Additionally, we believe this office will be a place where veterans can meet other veterans and rebuild the comradery they were once used to and make new friendships.”

What will be your priorities as you get the Veterans Services Office up and running?
“My first priority was to establish a veteran’s organization on campus. About six weeks ago, we received approval from the State of Wisconsin American Legion and with the help of State Department Commander Bob Shappell, we have established a new American Legion Post on campus. We will be known as the Concordia University Wisconsin American Legion Post 1881. (The number) 1881 is significant to Concordia University Wisconsin as it is the year the University was established. We currently have thirty-one members in our American Legion Post and the number is still growing. My second priority is to personally visit with as many veterans as possible to determine what some of their immediate needs are as they progress in their program of study, address those needs, and work as a team with the veterans and our administration to bring a solution. My third priority is to develop an outreach program in which our veterans are active in school and community activities. We hope to be involved in projects that support veterans, community projects like Camp Hometown Heroes, and with our fellow students on campus where our leadership can assist classmates.  

“I have many priorities. However with little time before the school year concludes, we must get some things in place in order to be ready for the summer and the next school year.”

What challenges do you anticipate in operating the office and ensuring its success?
“The biggest challenge I foresee at the moment is the competition with other universities in the area. Everyone is working their hardest to serve veterans on campus. We have to make sure we can convey our message to as many veterans as possible and display what makes us unique. As a brand new office at Concordia University Wisconsin, we are competing against other Universities that have been doing this type of work a little longer. We are ready for the challenge, and I believe we will do very well.”

Why does southeastern Wisconsin need an office catering to the academic needs of military veterans?
“Concordia University Wisconsin is in a unique situation by which we have satellite campus across the state of Wisconsin. Our Adult Education Program is utilized by many students hoping to earn a degree at our University. In a research study done by the Wisconsin Department of Veteran Services, they identified nine counties that were very populated by veterans. Ironically, Concordia University Wisconsin has eight satellite campus in eight out of those nine counties. We are not only concerned with southeastern Wisconsin; we are focused across the state. With just under 200,000 veterans in those areas, we will be ready to assist any veteran and their family at all of our facilities.”

What are your goals as head of this new office?
“I have many goals for this office, but none are more important than our veterans graduating and helping them prepare for the next chapter in their career.”  

Do you have a business mantra?
“My business mantra is no different than what is stated in our university’s mission and statement: “Concordia University Wisconsin is a Lutheran higher education community committed to helping students develop in mind, body, and spirit for service to Christ in the church and the world.’

“My values are those that I was taught by my parents and reiterated throughout my time in the Navy: Honor, courage and commitment.”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
“I look up to one of my former commanding officers, Ken Barrett, Captain, U.S. Navy (Ret.). Back in 2007 he selected me to work in his department which was the U.S. Navy Diversity Directorate. Little did I know that I was to become the first Hispanic Diversity Officer for the United States Navy, but that I would be the face representing the Navy in the Hispanic community across the country. Captain Barrett allowed me to use my leadership skills to help teach the Hispanic community about jobs in the STEM fields and how scholarships can help pay for college. He showed me the true meaning of leadership by allowing people to utilize their strengths and coaching up weakness. He was a phenomenal leader and one who knows how to get the most out of his team with diverse backgrounds. His leadership proved critical for the GM Motor Company as he now serves as their first diversity officer.”

What was the best advice you ever received?
“The best advice I ever received was from my father Ed Garza, Sr. He would always remind me to ‘do things right the first time so I wouldn’t have to waste time going back and fixing it or someone else will come fix it, therefore no one is going to need you.’”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“I enjoy spending time with family and friends and working with a nonprofit organization called Take A Vet Fishing. I serve as the vice president for marketing for this organization and we provide fishing event opportunities for veterans, especially those working through the challenges of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.”

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BizTimes Poll Question
March 12, 2015 12:02 PM
Should Wisconsin Supreme Court justice candidates be allowed to run campaign commercials and ads?

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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