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Southeastern Wisconsin business people make it happen.
Thursday, February 12, 2015
Bucks to recognize top MPS student athletes with new scholars program
February 12, 2015 10:55 AM
A new scholars program launched by the Milwaukee Bucks will reward top academic and athletic performers in Milwaukee Public Schools with courtside seats to Bucks’ games.

Through the Milwaukee Bucks Courtside Active Scholars Program, the Bucks’ owners will grant one high school male and female student every month two courtside seats each. To be considered for the program, students will need to demonstrate at least 90 percent attendance during the most recent term and maintain a minimum 3.0 grade point average. They will also need to be in the midst of their second year in an interscholastic sport, intramural sport or other physical fitness activity.

The program will require students to complete an application that includes an essay on why they value sports and physical fitness. A committee of leaders from both the Bucks and MPS will select winners each month. That committee will be comprised of Bucks co-owners Wes Edens, Marc Lasry and Jamie Dinan; president Peter Feigin; the team’s executive vice president of social responsibility and community affairs, John Steinmiller; MPS executive director of community engagement Denise Callaway; and MPS athletic director Bill Molbeck.

“This is a terrific opportunity to reward active and engaged students,” Feigin said. “We think it’s important to highlight the positive accomplishments of the young people in the city. They are our future leaders and role models. It’s great to see our ownership involved in the future of Milwaukee in this way.”

The program committee selected Amanda MacArthur, a senior at MacDowell Montessori School, and Deandre Hill Stanton, a junior at Rufus King International High School, as February’s winning students. The two were given seats to Wednesday’s game when the Bucks challenged the Sacramento Kings.

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Anime fans, gymnasts to flood downtown Milwaukee this weekend
February 12, 2015 10:57 AM
More than 7,500 anime enthusiasts will share the Wisconsin Center with approximately 2,000 gymnasts this weekend when Anime Milwaukee and the Midwest Twisters Gymnastics Invitational come to the city.

Anime Milwaukee, also known as AMKE, is the state’s largest Anime and Japanese cultural event. The eighth annual convention, scheduled to run Friday through Sunday at the Wisconsin Center and the Hyatt Regency Milwaukee, will feature vendors, artists, and video gaming. The convention will also roll out with special events, including a masquerade and charity ball, as well as Japanese drumming performances and voice acting performances.

The Anime action is open to the public and will be held 24 hours a day each day, primarily on the first floor of the Wisconsin Center and at the Hyatt, which is just a skywalk away. Daily entrance fees run start at $25.

The Midwest Twisters Gymnastics Invitational will also run Friday through Sunday at the Wisconsin Center. The 13th annual invitational, backed by Hal’s Harley-Davidson, will challenge teams from seven states representing USA Gymnastics Junior Olympic Levels 2 through 10, the national Collegiate Athletic Association, the Amateur Athletic Union and YMCA clubs.

Invitational organizers expect about 6,000 people to attend the three-day event.

The Wisconsin Center is located at 400 W. Wisconsin Ave.

For more information on Anime Milwaukee’s lineup of events, visit www.animemilwaukee.org. For more information on the Midwest Twisters’ competition, visit www.midwesttwistersinvite.com/schedule.

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New tourism website promotes Wauwatosa
February 12, 2015 10:59 AM
VISIT Milwaukee is amplifying its tourism efforts in Wauwatosa through a new website that promotes the city as a year-round destination.

The site, www.VISITWauwatosa.org, informs visitors about the city’s entertainment and hospitality offerings, highlighting its shopping hotspots, culinary experiences, sports and recreation events, festivals, fairs, nightlife and seasonal activities. The site, which mirrors www.visitmilwaukee.org, also walks visitors through Wauwatosa’s historic village district.

VISIT Milwaukee considers Wauwatosa a strategic partner in its mission to tout the region as an attractive destination for travelers and convention and meeting planners.

“As a VISIT Milwaukee partner, we worked closely with them to develop a fun, creative site to promote tourism in our city and generate a greater economic impact for us,” Kathy Ehley, mayor of Wauwatosa, said in a statement. “We look forward to seeing the site evolve.”

“Leveraging VISIT Milwaukee’s expertise in destination marketing, the new website is a great resource for out-of-town visitors as it features information about accommodations, including an on-site booking widget, plus custom articles, photos and videos, (and) event and business listings to encourage travel to Tosa,” said Megan Gaus, senior director of marketing and communications at VISIT Milwaukee.

The site also includes briefings on Wauwatosa’s history as well as on the medical centers and educational institutions located near the city.

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MillerCoors CEO Tom Long to retire June 30
February 12, 2015 11:03 AM
Chicago-based MillerCoors LLC, which brews much of its beer in Milwaukee, announced on Tuesday that chief executive officer Tom Long plans to retire from the company on June 30.

The MillerCoors board of directors is leading the search for Long’s successor, and MillerCoors chief communication officer Pete Marino said it is the company’s intention to have someone in place by June 30. Marino added that the board is seeking the best candidate, whether he or she is internal or external.

“It has truly been the honor of my career to run MillerCoors,” Long said. “I am leaving a company and a team, both of which are stronger than they have ever been. MillerCoors is in position to capitalize on the changing forces within the U.S. beer industry more decisively than ever and my team has the passion, conviction, creativity and business plan to win in the long term in this industry."

Long, 56, has led MillerCoors as CEO since 2011, having been president and chief commercial officer since the launch of the MillerCoors joint venture in 2008 by SABMiller and Molson Coors Brewing Co. He had been president and CEO of Miller Brewing Company since 2006, after joining Miller Brewing Company as chief marketing officer in 2005.

“His deep experience in the U.S. and global beverage business was a perfect fit for the challenging economic environment and rapidly changing industry dynamics we have faced over the past several years,” said Pete Coors, chairman of the MillerCoors board of directors. “Under Tom’s leadership, the company consistently delivered profit growth, pricing growth and cost savings, while dramatically improving capabilities in key areas like innovation, chain sales, revenue management, learning and development, and beer knowledge and appreciation.”

Long’s impending retirement follows the late 2014 retirement of Tom Cardella, president and beer merchant at MillerCoors' craft arm, Tenth and Blake Beer Co. Cardella was replaced by Scott Whitley who assumed the role on Oct. 1, 2014.
 
Tenth and Blake brews some of its beer at Milwaukee's Tenth Street Brewery.

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Culver to retire from restaurant chain
February 12, 2015 11:05 AM
Craig Culver, co-founder and chief executive officer of Culver Franchising System Inc., will retire effective June 15 from the Prairie du Sac-based parent company of the Culver's restaurant chain.

Phil Keiser, president and chief operating officer of the firm, will succeed Culver as CEO and president.

The 535-restaurant chain has surpassed the $1 billion mark in system-wide sales and opened more than 330 restaurants across 22 states.

"It's important for every business to have a strong succession plan so the right people are in the right positions to lead into the future," Culver said. "What makes me excited and makes my decision easier is that the reins are being turned over to someone who has been responsible for so much of our success for so many years."

The promotion of Keiser, a 19-year Culver's team member, will take effect on the co-founder's 65th birthday.

Culver will continue to serve the business and provide leadership as the chairman of the board.

"It sends a message to my whole team that there’s continued growth upwards," Culver told BizTimes. "I’m not going away, I just won't be involved in the day-to-day operations. I think it’s good for Culver’s and I think it will be good for me as well.”

Culver's wife, Lea, and three children are also involved in the business at a governance level, he said. They may someday choose to become more involved in the day-to-day operations.

"Craig is a true pioneer in the restaurant industry and I'm honored to have this opportunity," Keiser said. "I believe Culver's is well positioned for the future with a strong leadership, franchise, supplier, and support team, and I'm very pleased that Craig will continue to be involved in the business."

Tuesday’s announcement comes on the heels of the announcement that Culver’s brother, Curt Culver, will retire as CEO of Milwaukee-based MGIC Investment Corp. March 1.

The Culver brothers were recently featured in a BizTimes cover story.

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LaVelle appointed president, CEO of Aquarius Technologies
February 12, 2015 11:08 AM
Port Washington-based Aquarius Technologies, Inc. on Monday named Deborah LaVelle president and chief executive officer.

Aquarius Technologies provides cost-effective water and wastewater solutions with aeration technologies and treatment systems.
 
LaVelle, who is taking over former leader Tom Pokorsky following his exit from the company, has more than 30 years of experience in the water and wastewater industry. Her career includes more than 25 years of experience growing companies with a focus on aeration, biological treatment, and liquid and solids separation.

In her new leadership capacity, she will work to grow Aquarius Technologies’ product offerings both nationally and globally.

“Aquarius is a well-known aeration company with an established and respected reputation in the industry,” LaVelle said in a statement. “The mission of the team going forward will be geographic expansion of core products and growth through product development, enhancements, strategic alliances or acquisitions.”

LaVelle’s industry experience has also included professional affiliations with the Water and Wastewater Equipment Manufacturers Association, Water Environment Federation and Winnebago County Health Department.

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Smoke Shack and Holey Moley food stands highlight 2015 upgrades at Miller Park
February 12, 2015 11:10 AM
The Milwaukee Brewers announced on Tuesday that Smoke Shack, a Milwaukee barbeque restaurant, and Holey Moley, a Milwaukee doughnut shop, will add food stands this year at Miller Park. They will be located along the first base side of the Field Level concourse.

Additional upgrades at Miller Park this season will include a Season Seat Holder Headquarters, a Loge Level Ticket and Guest Relations Kiosk, enhancements to the JCI Club Patio, new food options at concession stands and increased Wi-Fi connectivity throughout the ballpark.

These projects are in addition to the Selig Experience, an interactive tribute to former Brewers owner and Major League Baseball Commissioner Bud Selig, which was announced in December.

“Each year we look to bring new amenities to Miller Park to enhance the overall ballpark experience,” said Brewers chief operating officer Rick Schlesinger. “We are excited to introduce new and unique dining options this year, along with a designated headquarters for season seat holders, improved connectivity and additional attractions for our fans. Combining these additions with the new Selig Experience, we are confident that the fan experience at Miller Park will continue to be among the best in all of sports.”

Located on the Field Level concourse along the first-base side, the Season Seat Holder Headquarters project involves the creation of a new 350-square-foot meeting area. Located for season seat holders to meet their account executives face to face, the space will also serve as a distribution point for gifts and other items.

The Brewers ticket office will be opening up a Loge Level Ticket and Guest Relations Kiosk during all home games. The kiosk will supplement the Field Level ticket window by allowing fans to purchase tickets to future games while they attend home games.

The JCI Club Patio, which is located on the Club Level along the left-field line, will undergo a facelift for the 2015 season. Improvements include brand new tables and chairs on the patio as well as removing and re-facing countertops.

Also new for 2015 will be several food options – created by Miller Park’s concessionaire, Delaware North, located in various concessions stands throughout the ballpark. In addition to the standard ballpark fare and other creative returning offerings, Delaware North will unveil items for 2015 such as bratchos, bacon on a stick, Italian rope sausage, street tacos and loaded tater tots. Bratchos is a combination of Klement’s sausages, kettle chips, cheese, fried sauerkraut, jalapenos and sour cream, all served in a Klement’s Racing Sausage bucket. In addition, baked potatoes will be featured in additional locations, with new topping options.

Uihlein-Wilson Architects designed the Season Seat Holders Headquarters and Loge Level Ticket and Guest Relations Kiosk. Design work for Smoke Shack and Holey Moley was handled by Flux Design.

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Carroll to establish articulation agreement with UW-Waukesha
February 12, 2015 11:12 AM
Carroll University, located in Waukesha, will soon form a Transfer Admission Articulation Agreement with the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha to make a bachelor's degree more accessible for students of the community college.

The agreement, to be made official on Feb. 23, will allow UW-Waukesha students to transition directly into Carroll University to pursue a bachelor’s degree.

“This partnership ensures students may transfer seamlessly from UW-Waukesha to Carroll and be provided the support services they need throughout the process for them to successfully complete one of our programs,” Carroll University president Doug Hastad said in a statement. “Our goal is to provide each student with the tools they need to realize a bachelor’s degree.”

The agreement will serve students who have earned an associate degree at UW-Waukesha. Carroll also offers course-by-course transfer options for students who have not completed an associate degree, according to James Wiseman, Carroll’s vice president of enrollment.

Carroll has more than 50 institution-wide and program-specific articulations with schools across the country, according to university officials.

A signing ceremony, scheduled for Feb. 23 at Carroll University’s Campus Center, will confirm the new agreement between the two Waukesha institutions.

“We want to improve student degree attainment, and one of the best ways is to ease transfer to institutions where they can continue their education,” said Cathy Sandeen, chancellor of UW Colleges and UW-Extension. “This new articulation between UW-Waukesha and Carroll University is a great example of two institutions joining together to provide a new option for Wisconsinites.”

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Bubbler Quote of the Week
February 12, 2015 11:14 AM

“If we are going to expand, we are going to use the concepts that have been successful for us, Water Street Brewery being a perfect example. We like to own and control our real estate. That doesn’t allow for the most aggressive growth plan. But we feel like we’re in this for the long-term, and if we control the real estate and the business we can put significant money into it and invest in the business. It would have to be a deal where we can spend significant funds to build a beautiful place and really make a statement.”
~Matt Schmidt, director of operations for the Schmidts’ group of restaurants   
Read more in BizTimes Milwaukee’s new cover story by Andrew Weiland: Beyond Water Street: Schmidt restaurant empire heads south to Oak Creek.

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BizTimes Bubbler Executive of the Week: Greg Marso
February 12, 2015 11:16 AM

Greg Marso, president and chief executive officer of Marso Companies, LLC dba Marso Construction & Carstensen Homes
Address: 9120 W. Loomis Road, Suite 400, Franklin
Website: www.carstensenhomes.com | www.marsoconstruction.com
Industry: Commercial and residential construction
Employees: 10
Family: Three brothers, five nieces and nephews

What was the smartest thing your company did in the past year?
“We continued to invest in technology and education; it’s always an ongoing priority for all of us. We live in a time with customers being more educated than ever, and we need to stay current with new products and building science.”

What’s new at your company?
“Commercially, Marso Construction has hired additional staff and residentially, we have a new high-end subdivision planned for Franklin.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
“We have done this over the last two years, prepping for the growth we are seeing.”

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
“Dealing with increasing insurance and health care costs. The market will not allow us to simply raise our prices, so we are forced to absorb the costs and make up for it through efficiencies and productivity.”

What are your company’s construction specialties? Why do you focus on both commercial and residential construction?
“Residentially, (Carstensen Homes) is a high-end custom home builder. Commercially, (Marso Construction) is a general contractor working in all industry sectors. They are separate companies with different staff with different skillsets. I believe in diversification for long-term stability.”

What has fueled you company’s growth? Nationally, where have you completed projects?
“The overall industry growth has helped everyone in general. Our growth is fueled by an extremely high, about 90 percent, return customer and referral rate. We haven’t worked much nationally, but that’s part of the growth plan commercially. Residentially, we will remain in southeastern Wisconsin.”

Do you have a business mantra?
“In one word: integrity. We bring a high level of integrity to everything we do, something our industry is not always known for.”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
“Honestly, my staff. They are all experts at what they do, and I rely on them heavily for advice.”

What was the best advice you ever received?
“From my father, who was a contractor: ‘If you treat people right and actually do what you say you will do, plenty of work will always find you.’”

What do you like to do in your free time?
“I don’t get much, but when I do I try to make the best of it. I enjoy traveling, hunting or fishing whenever I can.”

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Hot Bubbler Books
February 12, 2015 11:19 AM
Five bestselling business books you should read:

1. “Big Data-Driven Business,” by Sean Callahan and Russel Glass
2. “Jim Cramer’s Get Rich Carefully,” by James Cramer
3. “Job U,” by Nicholas Wyman
4. “Go-Giver,” by Bob Burg and John David Mann
5. “Zombie Loyalists,” by Peter Shankman

Courtesy of www.800ceoread.com.

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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 erica.breunlin@biztimes.com or call her at (414) 336-7121.
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