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Thursday, November 6, 2014
U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree to make Milwaukee appearance
November 6, 2014 10:59 AM
As the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree travels cross country to Washington, D.C., it will make a stop in Milwaukee’s Cathedral Square Park on Veterans Day, Tuesday, Nov. 11.
Milwaukee is one of 33 cities the 88-foot white spruce is visiting as it makes its way out to the U.S. Capitol from Minnesota’s Chippewa National Forest on a 105-foot trailer.

The tree will be in Milwaukee from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., when more than 600 students from greater Milwaukee schools will congregate in Cathedral Square. While there, students will help decorate the park for the Milwaukee Holiday Lights Festival.

Park festivities, which are free and open to the public, will officially begin at noon and will include carols by Fernwood Montessori School, an address from regional forester of the U.S. Forest Service Kathleen Atkinson, and a salute to all Armed Forces by the Milwaukee Fire Department Honor Guard.

Additionally, Rev. Jeff Haines of The Cathedral of St. John the Evangelist, will bless the Christmas tree.

Attendees will be able to take photos with the tree as well as with Santa Claus and Smokey Bear, who is celebrating 70 years. Attendees will also have a chance to sign the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree banner.

“We are honored that the U.S. Capitol Christmas tree will visit downtown Milwaukee on its way to Washington, D.C.,” said Beth Weirick, CEO Of Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21. “Our community looks forward to being a part of this gift to the nation and the joy it will bring to our own community this holiday.”

The 60 Milwaukee-area schools taking part in the celebration will have an opportunity to send a school ornament with the tree and its 70 complementary trees, all of which will end up at Washington, D.C. landmarks for the holidays.

The lighting of the U.S. Capitol Christmas Tree will likely be held early next month once the tree is ready for display.

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Potawatomi chef crowned Chef of the Year
November 6, 2014 10:37 AM
Peter Gebauer, executive chef at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino, has been named the 2014 Chef of the Year by the American Culinary Federation Chefs of Milwaukee.
“I’m proud but also very humbled by the honor,” said Gebauer, who is also president of the American Culinary Federation Chefs of Milwaukee. “Milwaukee has many talented chefs and has truly undergone a renaissance when it comes to the culinary arts.”

Gebauer, who joined Potawatomi as executive chef in 2006, leads culinary operations for the hotel and casino’s seven restaurants and catering ventures.

During his tenure, Potawatomi has more than doubled the number of restaurants on its property and has ramped up catering operations as the company has added meeting space. According to Potawatomi, the company serves close to 2.5 million visitors each year and hosts approximately 700 catered events annually.

“Chef Gebauer has been integral in the growth of the food and beverage department at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino,” said Don Sally, food and beverage director. “More importantly, he has elevated the quality of culinary offerings here. His success is more than evident in the reputation our property has garnered and can largely be attributed to his leadership through education and mentoring.”

Gebauer also played a key role in developing Potawatomi’s Culinary Academy, which educates the company’s food and beverage employees on culinary arts.

In addition to Potawatomi, Gebauer has worked in culinary positions in Hong Kong, the Middle East, Singapore and Cancun.

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FASTSIGNS expands services with 3D printing
November 6, 2014 10:39 AM
FASTSIGNS of Milwaukee-Glendale has added 3D printing to its pool of services and is the first location in the international FASTSIGNS network to introduce the innovation.
Through a 3D CAD or stereolithography file, the company can convert a conceptual design into an actual object. The company’s 3D printing capabilities can produce functional prototypes, architectural models, replacement parts, awards, and branded promotional products among others.

“At FASTSIGNS of Milwaukee-Glendale, we’re always looking for ways to exceed our customers’ expectations,” said owner Robb Schmit. “With our new 3D printer, we’re able to provide the advanced technology of 3D printing at a local level. Whether you’re a product designer, an architect, a manufacturing engineer or just a creative thinker, we can help your ideas become reality.”

FASTSIGNS of Milwaukee-Glendale, which is independently owned and operated, also specializes in the creation and installation of custom banners, tradeshow displays, site signs, labels and decals, car and truck graphics, window graphics, architectural signs, safety signs and more, according to its website.

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Bier Stube owner plans to revitalize Germantown park
November 6, 2014 11:02 AM
Chaz Hastings, owner of Old Town Inn & Von Rothenburg Bier Stube in Germantown, is planning to revitalize a historic nearby park.
Hastings’ Ride Entertainment Group is working with Germantown leaders to develop Siegl Park to include a multi-purpose pavilion, outdoor play areas and structures and a historic Bavarian theme. The park could be used for annual events like Maifest and Oktoberfest, as well as weekly farmer’s markets, live music and craft shows, according to Hastings.

The park, according to Hastings, was used for social gatherings, holiday celebrations and picnics in the 1800s. It is right next to the current Old Town Inn, then known as the Siegl Hotel, but has fallen into disrepair.

“The goal is to restore, revive and christen the historic setting, Siegl Park,” he said. “Once again the park would become a destination for those in the community as well as visitors to Germantown. All our discussions have centered on developing the park in keeping with the area’s German heritage.”

If development meetings proceed as planned, the park’s groundbreaking could take place in the next six months, he said.

Ride Entertainment Group includes the recently reopened Von Rothenburg Bier Stube and Old Town Inn, Milwaukee Harley-Davidson, Tally Ho Pub & Grill, Madam Belles, Bottoms Up North and Bottoms Up South.

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Strong to head new public relations division of Sosh
November 6, 2014 11:04 AM
Milwaukee-based Sosh is branching outside its social media services with the addition of a new public relations and communications division.
The department, which will encompass public relations, media relations, experiential marketing and what Sosh describes as “relationship marketing,” will be headed by Wendy Strong, whom Sosh has named chief communications officer.

While the new division will include standard public relations services, such as press release writing, media outreach and events marketing, the gamut of its services will take clients to “the next level of PR,” said Strong, whose communications career has included a role as director of public relations at VISIT Milwaukee and reporting positions with FOX 6 News and the Milwaukee Business Journal.

The department's mission is to connect people, groom relationships and help clients grow through those relationships. The “next level of PR” will largely be defined by relationship building and community outreach as Sosh works to connect clients and consumers face-to-face, particularly through in-person meetings and networking events.

Those events aim to create an experience for attendees and build brand loyalty around clients’ products and services. For instance, when working with a restaurant, Sosh might host a networking event featuring its menu items and then promote it through social media and word-of-mouth.

The new division is launching as Michelle D’Attilio, CEO of Sosh, anticipates a “shift” in communication preferences, with people valuing more in-person experiences while maintaining their presence on social media channels.

“As we look out at the future of social (media) over the next five years, I think that people are going to yearn for an opportunity to connect face-to-face in an environment that’s comfortable for them,” D’Attilio said.

Along with D’Atillio, Jeanette Pham, chief operating officer of Sosh, approached Strong about helping launch the new division.

“I think one of Wendy’s strongest assets is she’s a natural connector,” D’Attilio said.

In joining Sosh, Strong said she wants to be part of “growing something new” and making a significant difference in the community.

While Sosh will assist a range of clients with public relations services, including consumer goods businesses, the company also will likely help nonprofits in spreading awareness about their missions and core focus areas.

To operate its new division, Sosh expects to add two full-time positions by the end of the year and between one and three full-time positions in the first quarter of 2015, along with a couple of interns.

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B&B planned near Alverno
November 6, 2014 11:07 AM
A former nuns dormitory near Alverno College on Milwaukee’s south side would be converted into a bed and breakfast inn, according to a plan submitted to the city by Guangfu Jia.
The building, located at 3587 S. 41st St. and constructed in 1964, is currently owned by Ancilla Domini Sisters.

The building, currently vacant, has 61 dormitory units. Jia plans to create a bed and breakfast establishment in the building that will provide Asian food and will serve visitors to Alverno College and other neighborhood visitiors, including people visiting residents in nearby senior citizen residences. Part-time Alverno students could also stay there during exams.

The inn will have 12 employees.

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Entrepreneur Week to highlight best practices, success stories
November 6, 2014 11:08 AM
The City of Milwaukee will host Mayor Barrett’s Entrepreneur Week from Nov. 9 to 14. The week will include a variety of events highlighting entrepreneurship in the region.
Among the participants hosting events as part of the Entrepreneur Week are the Water Council, Scale Up Milwaukee, BizStarts, The Commons, the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp., Kiva and the Milwaukee Public Library.

Entrepreneurs will discuss topics including crowdfunding, forming startups, scaling a business and women in entrepreneurship, and also honor inspirational entrepreneurs in the community. A schedule of events is available at

“Entrepreneurs add strength and vitality to Milwaukee’s economy,” Barrett said. “We want to increase their ranks and increase their likelihood of success. People participating in Entrepreneur Week will be encouraged and informed so they can grow enterprises that add jobs and wealth to our region.”

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Kohl’s to open stores at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving
November 6, 2014 11:11 AM
Menomonee Falls-based Kohl’s Corp. has announced it will open its department stores at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day to kick off its holiday shopping season.
The company, which will remain open until midnight on Black Friday, said it is making the move to give customers more time than ever to shop for holiday gifts.

Kohl’s competitor Macy’s earlier this month also said it will open at 6 p.m. on Thanksgiving. Last year, both stores opened at 8 p.m. on Thanksgiving Day.

Kohl’s is in the process of hiring 67,000 employees nationwide for its holiday season, more than the 50,000 it added last year for the November-December stretch.

“Kohl’s will be the most compelling shopping destination for the entire family this holiday season with our strong portfolio of sought-after national and private brands, our extensive online assortment and a deep list of exciting products that are new to Kohl’s this year,” said Kevin Mansell, Kohl's chairman, chief executive officer and president. "We are well positioned to deliver on our vision to be the most engaging retailer in America with our pioneering Yes2You Rewards program, the re-launch of our improved Kohl's App that will enhance the customer’s mobile experience, faster ways to deliver online orders and, of course, our amazing store associates who are empowered to say ‘Yes’ and deliver the outstanding customer service we are known for."

The National Retail Federation recently announced it expects sales in November and December (excluding autos, gas and restaurant sales) to increase a healthy 4.1 percent to $616.9 billion, higher than 2013’s actual 3.1 percent increase during that same time frame. This would mark the first time since 2011 that holiday sales would increase more than 4 percent.

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Bubbler Quote of the Week
November 6, 2014 11:12 AM

“We need to shine a light on the companies that are doing great things in the state. I often follow this statement with a list - but to be honest there is not enough paper to contain all the companies that are making significant contributions to the state. We are a great place for business, have hundreds of companies that prove this every day, and yet if you ask others from out of state about Wisconsin they still say things like: tax hell, partisan, anti-teacher, anti-environment, anti-transportation, anti-business, not a great place to retire and more. The reality is we are actually none of those things - OK, I'll give you partisan – but you see my point. When I hear Wisconsin I want the name to have the cool vibe of a Harley-Davidson or the envy associated with the Green Bay Packers. Imagine a governor's office that had a proverbial swear jar; anyone saying anything negative about the state, or other people in the state, would be fined.”
~Ken Harwood, who edits and publishes five weekly newsletters promoting Wisconsin
Read Tuesday’s Milwaukee Biz Blog by Harwood: ‘A unified Wisconsin is a better Wisconsin.’

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Bubbler Executive of the Week: Bell
November 6, 2014 11:14 AM

Jared Bell, president of Movin’ and Lubin’, LLC
Company address: Two locations: 2350 S. Commerce Drive in New Berlin and 1595 S. 38th St. in Milwaukee
Industry: Truck/Automotive repairs, fleet services
Number of employees: 18
Family: Single

What prompted Movin’ and Lubin’ to open a second service and repair center this year? Describe the new location.

“We have a very clear vision. The plan for the next five years is to build our business model in the Milwaukee area, then in other cities. We discussed opening another location for years; it was time to act and get a new one open if we wanted to keep pace with our aggressive deadlines for growing the company.

“Our new location in New Berlin was the first time we were able to pick our ideal building in our ideal market. The New Berlin industrial park is a great location to bring our ‘fleet’ way of doing business to our target market of medium-duty commercial vehicles. The building is 10,000 square feet and perfectly set up for our style of business.”

What services does your company specialize in, and who are your target customers?

“We specialize in building loyal relationships with fleet managers by learning their specific challenges and providing service that conveniently meets those needs. We work on just about everything, but have built our services around the demands of the medium- and light-duty commercial fleet market.

“Our target customer is a commercial account with 20 to 40 medium- or light-duty vehicles. ‘Light duty’ means vans, box trucks, pick-ups … pretty much anything down to a Toyota Prius. Many of our accounts range from two to 75 vehicles. An ‘ideal’ customer isn’t just about number of vehicles – it’s about forming a relationship where everyone is happy with the outcomes of transactions.”

What differentiates your company from competitors?

“We offer a unique list of services regarding ‘what’ we can do for customers. Because of our focus on the medium-duty commercial industry, our facilities are equipped to service custom truck bodies and the specialized equipment many have. The average automotive repair shop does not work on this specialty equipment.

“‘How’ we provide service is what really separates us. We built a great team that shares our ‘Values of How We Build Relationships.’ Our belief is that if we build great relationships, both with the people working at Movin’ and Lubin’ and our customers, the outcomes will be plentiful for everyone. These relationships hold real value for our customers, along with providing innovative delivered services.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?

“We plan to keep hiring and growing the New Berlin location over the next six months or until operations are hitting cash flow goals. Once this point is reached, we will work on opening a third location.”

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?

“As many companies find to be a major hurdle, identifying the RIGHT people to grow and share the vision of the company will be challenging. We believe that our model, and really seeking out those people, will bring in both the talent and desired attitudes we need.”

Do you have a business mantra?

“Everything in life is a choice. Those choices produce everything that is happening in your life. Ninety percent of all challenges are solved by effective communication.”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?

“I have been blessed to surround myself with people who have been great coaches and mentors. A few people from family, some friends, and my business coach have really helped develop my business skills and helped our growth in so many ways. I learned integrity in business from my father.”

What was the best advice you ever received?

“‘Fire your customers’ - that one has stood out in my mind since the first time I heard it. Truthfully, I have received so much great advice, I am grateful for all of it.”

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?

“I won’t provide specifics but let’s just say that, given our company’s name, we have received a few VERY interesting phone calls over the years.”

What do you like to do in your free time?

“Rock climbing, whitewater kayaking, Muay Thai kickboxing, socializing, motorized off-road vehicles, spending time outdoors, having fun.”

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Hot Bubbler Books
November 6, 2014 11:16 AM
Five bestselling business books you should read:
1. “People Tools for Business,” by Alan Fox
2. “Exponential Organizations,” by Salim Ismail, Michael Malone and Yuri Van Geest
3. “Winners Dream,” by Bill McDermott
4. “Jim Cramer’s Get Rich Carefully (New),” by James Cramer
5. “Igniting Customer Connections,” by Andrew Frawley

Courtesy of

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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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