Southeastern Wisconsin business people make it happen.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
BizTimes Media extends nomination deadline for Nonprofit Excellence Awards
August 28, 2014 10:50 AM
BizTimes Media has extended the nomination deadline for the inaugural BizTimes Media Nonprofit Excellence Awards to Friday, Sept. 12.
The awards program is designed to shine a light on the community impact efforts of southeastern Wisconsin businesses and nonprofits.
The program will salute the work of for-profit organizations, executives and professionals who donate their time, talent and treasure to community causes. On the nonprofit side, awards will call attention to organizations and leaders making the region a better place to live, work and play.

Award winners will be celebrated during a Nov. 4 breakfast and ceremony at Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Events Center in Milwaukee.

Self-nominations on both the corporate and nonprofit side will be accepted. Award nominations must be completed through an online form. Corporate citizens and nonprofits may be nominated for multiple categories, but nominators will need to fill out a new form for each category.

BizTimes encourages nominators of for-profit companies to submit their entries as soon as possible. The Nonprofit Excellence Awards’ corporate citizen awards feature five categories: Corporate Citizen of the Year, Next Generation Leadership, In-Kind Supporter, Corporate Volunteer of the Year, and Lifetime Achievement.

Companies of all sizes and industries are eligible for awards.

The program’s nonprofit awards feature four categories: Nonprofit (organization) of the year, Nonprofit Collaboration of the year award, Nonprofit Executive of the Year and Social Enterprise.

Nonprofit nominees must be tax exempt 501(c)(3) organizations based in Milwaukee, Waukesha, Ozaukee, Washington, Racine, Kenosha, Walworth or Sheboygan counties. Chapters or affiliate national organizations may be nominated if they are locally managed.

To access detailed descriptions of each award and the award nomination form, visit

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Rogers InHealth introduces video series for students facing mental illnesses
August 28, 2014 10:53 AM
As students return to the classroom this fall, Rogers InHealth is adding to the resources available for those facing mental health challenges with a new series of videos.
Rogers InHealth, which is a department of Oconomowoc-based Rogers Behavioral Health System, created the series to decrease the stigma behind mental illness and ramp up support for students and families confronting mental health challenges.

The health care provider also hopes the videos empower families and teachers in their support of children coping with mental illnesses.

The videos are social media based, according to Rogers InHealth, and feature a range of perspectives and approaches to overcoming mental health challenges. In addition to highlighting anecdotes of students recovering from mental illnesses, the videos provide tips for teachers to better engage their students with mental health challenges. Many of those tips come directly from strategies employed by teachers in Milwaukee Public Schools, according to Rogers InHealth.

A portion of the videos also cover tips for stronger collaboration among schools, homes and health care providers.

“While navigating school and health systems to get support for children’s mental health challenges can be tough, everyone involved needs to realize that hopeful outcomes are a reality when parents, schools, therapists and the child work together,” said Sue McKenzie, co-director of Rogers InHealth. “These personal stories constantly reinforce this message. The relationship is number one. Second is the team that works together to learn how to best support the child’s resiliency.”

The video content is largely based on the findings of international stigma researcher Patrick Corrigan, of the Illinois Institute of Technology, according to Rogers InHealth. Corrigan’s work points to the conclusion that personal contact with a person recovering from mental illness is the most effective strategy in curbing the stigma of mental illness.

“We have to all work together to eliminate the stigma that discourages individuals and families challenged by mental illness from seeking treatment and support for recovery,” said Susan Urbashich, also co-director of Rogers InHealth. “This site has the potential to help many if they utilize it.”

The videos are accessible at

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Three-star Army general to address Mount Mary
August 28, 2014 10:55 AM
Attendees of Mount Mary University’s Fall Transforum will hear firsthand from the country’s first female three-star Army general, Claudia Kennedy.
The university, located in Milwaukee, will welcome Kennedy as keynote speaker of the Sept. 12 luncheon. The annual event is presented by Mount Mary’s Women’s Leadership Institute, which focuses on helping women reach their potential as creative, transformative leaders.

Kennedy spent 32 years in the military, retiring in 2000 as a lieutenant general. When she retired, she was the “highest-ranking woman ever in the Army,” according to Mount Mary. Kennedy has devoted much of her retirement to promoting the education of women and their contributions to improving national security, strengthening areas of conflict and inspiring global change.

During her speech, she will talk about her career, the skills she polished in the military, and how she succeeded in a male-dominated field. Kennedy, who published a memoir in 2001, will also discuss changes she has witnessed in military and civilian life that have boosted the influence of women.

The university’s Fall Transforum will run from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Discovery World, located at 500 N. Harbor Drive in Milwaukee. Tickets cost $50 per person and $800 for a table of eight. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

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Milwaukee Public Library seeks development partners
August 28, 2014 10:57 AM
The Milwaukee Public Library is seeking private sector real estate development partners to do mixed-use developments of library sites, similar to projects done for the Villard Square Branch and for the East Branch on North Avenue, which is part of HSI Properties' The Standard at East Library project that is under construction.
The Milwaukee Public Library is asking developers to submit information on current and potential projects that could be compatible with a library, for four neighborhood libraries in the city that are slated for replacement. MPL today released a request for interest from developments interested in doing mixed-use projects with libraries to replace the: Forest Home Library, 1432 W. Forest Home Ave.; Mill Road Library, 6431 N. 76th St.; Martin Luther King Library, 310 W. Locust St,; or Capitol Library, 3969 N. 74th St.

“We are excited to hear from developers in the community that have an interest in working with us,” said Library Director Paula Kiely. “Over the last six years, MPL will replace four of our neighborhood libraries with mixed-use buildings much like we are doing at the new East Branch and the recently opened Villard Square Branch (at 5190 N. 35th St.). This is an exciting venture for MPL and for city residents who will benefit from having a new, technology-rich 21st Century library in their neighborhood that is also a catalyst for economic and neighborhood development and stability.”

The city has budgeted $22.4 million for the library projects. MPL says it plans to spend $4.4 million to $4.5 million on each library. In all, five branch libraries will be renovated or replaced. The Tippecanoe Library will be fully renovated, but will remain in the same building at 3912 S. Howell Ave.

An open house about the library projects will be held on Monday, Sept. 8, from 2:30 to 4:30 p.m. at Forest Home Library, 1432 W. Forest Home Ave.

Statements of interest from developers are due by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Sept. 30. More information is available at:

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Three regional companies named to Inc. 500 list
August 28, 2014 11:00 AM
Three southeastern Wisconsin companies ranked in the top 500 of Inc. Magazine's 2014 Inc. 500|5000 list, which recognizes the 5,000 fastest growing private companies across the country.
The New York-based publication has been compiling a list of high-growth companies for the past 33 years.

Companies listed among the top 500 include: Mequon-based Equipatron, which was ranked 101; Mt. Pleasant-based VPCinnovations, ranked 193; and Hartland-based EmbedTek, ranked 358.

Those companies will be featured in Inc. Magazine’s September issue.

The 2014 list of 5,000 fastest growing companies cited 70 Wisconsin-based businesses.

Regional companies ranked include: Milwaukee-based 7Summits; Brookfield-based Cielo; Hartland-based Johnson Creek Enterprises; Franklin-based More Than Rewards; West Bend-based Delta Defense; Brookfield-based Patina Solutions; Pewaukee-based Tim O’Brien Homes; Milwaukee-based Super Steel; Franklin-based ESC Services; Wauwatosa-based MARS IT; Kenosha-based Xten Industries; Milwaukee-based Stella & Chewy’s; Brookfield-based Concurrency; Pewaukee-based SunVest Solar; West Allis-based Commercial Bargains; Menomonee Falls-based Wireless Logic; Milwaukee-based Zeon Solutions; West Allis-based Solaris; Milwaukee-based Alpha Source; Brookfield-based Centare; Milwaukee-based Core Creative; Elm Grove-based Krueger Communications; Port Washington-based Allen Edmonds; New Berlin-based HNI; Milwaukee-based TMI Consulting; Milwaukee-based Symmetry; Milwaukee-based Quest CE; Germantown-based Enviro-Safe Consulting; Brookfield-based QPS Employment Group; Milwaukee-based Badger Alloys; Hartland-based Batteries Plus Bulbs; Brookfield-based Codeworks; and Waukesha-based Central Office Systems.

For the magazine’s complete list, visit

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BMA Milwaukee names new directors
August 28, 2014 11:02 AM
The Business Marketing Association Milwaukee chapter has named its board of directors for the 2014-’15 program year.
Andrea Hubbert, principal at Hub+company, will serve as president. She is the first African-American woman to be named BMA chapter president.

Another 15 marketing experts will also serve on the board. They are: Melissa Farrington-Redlich, Johnson Controls Inc., president-elect; Christopher Vitrano, Nelson Schmidt, immediate past-president; Neille Hoffman, Aurum Design, secretary; Marvin Mason, Crisis Prevention Institute, treasurer; Brent Kaufman, Ascedia, programs; John Suarez, Coleman Cable and Meredyth Hunn, Northwestern Mutual, membership; Melissa Thorson, Inpro Corp., member benefits; Carley Bielawski, Bader Rutter, communications; Jocelyn Fischer, Inpro Corp., special events; Andrea Tarrell, HNI, young professionals; James Wolter, AJ Media Source, member at large; Siobhan Marks, XXL Marketing+Design, member at large; Erica Conway, C2, member at large; and Scott Bucher, Traction Factory, member at large.

“As one of the fastest growing chapters in the nation, BMA Milwaukee is poised to lead the local business marketing community,” Hubbert said. “We are strengthened by the high caliber of our membership and a slate of cutting-edge programming, which kicks off in the coming weeks. I am inspired by the potential of this organization to drive growth and innovation within southeastern Wisconsin’s marketing community.”

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The Next Stage: Creating Massive Action in Your Business
August 28, 2014 11:04 AM
BizTimes Media and ActionCoach of Elm Grove have created a new workshop series to guide business owners and C-level executives through steps that are critical to growing their businesses.
The series, titled “The Next Stage: Creating Massive Action in Your Business,” will kick off on Thursday, Sept. 18, with the event “Define Your Culture, Shift Your Business: How Culture Impacts Performance in Your Organization.”

The event will feature keynote speaker Anne Nimke, co-founder and chief executive officer of The Good Jobs Inc., and a panel of business experts who will discuss how businesses can leverage their corporate culture to boost their competitive advantage.

The workshop will run from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at the Sheraton Hotel, 375 S. Moorland Road in Brookfield, and the cost is $30. Additional workshop sessions are scheduled for each quarter. For more information on the series, visit

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WEDC doles out grants to Milwaukee startups
August 28, 2014 11:06 AM
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. and the University of Wisconsin-Extension Center for Technology Commercialization have awarded grants from the Ideadvance Seed Fund to 11 startups, including seven from the Milwaukee area.
The grantees, who will receive up to $25,000 each, include: BioMass Builders, based at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; Intelligent Composites, UW-Milwaukee; Isopoint Technologies, UWM; Mesmer, UWM; Sleep Environment Innovations, UWM; OptSolv, UW-Whitewater; and Mobile Transit Solutions, UW-Parkside.

The first round of grants was announced in May. There are now 23 groups receiving grants from the $2 million Ideadvance Seed Fund, as well as Lean startup training and business mentoring services. The goal is to bring the ideas and technologies developed at UW campuses to market.

Entrepreneurs are eligible for another $50,000 in stage two funding beginning in December, after they complete the first stage of Ideadvance activities.

“There is no question that innovation is taking place at UW campuses throughout the state,” said Gov. Scott Walker. “One of the unique aspects of Ideadvance is that it provides students, faculty and staff at campuses outside of Madison with the training and additional resources they need to help to turn those great ideas into job-creating companies.”

“Ideadvance provides a forum for our UW entrepreneurs to explore ideas and overcome commercialization challenges,” said Mark Lange, executive director of the UW-Extension Division of Entrepreneurship and Economic Development.  “Ideadvance helps them identify critical business questions and work through those challenges early. We see that happening among the first cohort of 12 grant recipients that we announced in May.”

A third round of stage one funding will be available in October. Interested UW students, faculty and staff can apply by contacting Idella Yamben at

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Bubbler Quote of the Week
August 28, 2014 11:08 AM

“If you haven't been paying attention, Milwaukee is where it's at. It's not only my hometown, but it's the place I want to be. It has so much going on and it's been fun to be a part of its rebirth as a modern 21st century American city.”
~Mike Collins is vice president of Federal Mfg.
Read Monday’s Milwaukee Biz Blog by Collins: I will miss working in Walker’s Point.

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Bubbler Executives of the Week
August 28, 2014 11:10 AM
Scott Ziel and Doug Johnson head the Yellow Phone Music Conference, a four-year-old conference that brings together up-and-coming music artists and industry professionals and also features a series of live shows. This year's conference is scheduled to run Sept. 4-7 at venues in downtown Milwaukee.
Scott Ziel, producer at Yellow Phone Music Conference
Company address: 309 N. Water St., Suite 635, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Industry: Music
Seasonal staff of employees of volunteers: 20-30
Family: Wife, Andrea. Children: Charlie, 1 1/2 years old.

Doug Johnson, producer at Yellow Phone Music Conference
Family: Wife, Aine. Children: Elijah and Siobhan, 3 1/2-year-old twins.

What drew you to the music industry?
Ziel: “My brother played in bands when we were in high school, and I used to help coordinate his shows. We both loved music and spent all of our money at the local record shop — Doctor Freud’s Institute of Fine Recordings — buying LPs.:

Johnson: “I started playing the trumpet at 7 years old.”

What does Milwaukee’s music scene have that the scenes in other cities don’t?
Johnson: “Our music scene here has vibrancy.”

Ziel: “I moved to Milwaukee right out of college and have always felt a sense of community within the music scene here — one that accepted me right away. This sense of community fosters creative energy that is harder to find in other cities.”

Explain the premise of the Yellow Phone Music Conference. Why is it a conference worth continuing in Milwaukee?
Ziel: “The premise is back to basics — a grassroots and hands-on music conference that offers artists the access to industry influencers they need. Yellow Phone is for working musicians who want access to people in the music business who care and who attend the conference because they want to help. Milwaukee is the perfect backdrop for YPMC. The city is growing, and guests who attend from throughout the region and the world always fall in love with our great city.”

Johnson: “Exactly. There was no such entity in the Midwest. Addressing a music education concern was intriguing, and we believe that it should be continued.”

What new features will you showcase at this year’s Yellow Phone Music Conference? What will be the highlights?
Ziel: “We are thrilled to be hosting a large outdoor stage/presence in my favorite part of the Third Ward. We are closing down Broadway Street between St. Paul and Buffalo in front of Café Benelux and running a stage for two days. It’s going to be an exciting area with a beer garden and some of our favorite new bands. The concerts will run throughout the afternoon and into the evenings. Plus, they are all free!”

What have been the conference’s top success stories? Have any artists been signed through the conference?
Johnson: “We have had five artists signed to major record, agent or a management contracts over the last three years. That is a vital metric for us.”

Ziel: “The great thing about YPMC is that business is getting done every year. Artists are getting signed with agents, managers and record labels. Many musicians have secured deals to land their music on TV shows, in movies and in other placements. Due to the small group nature of the conference, artists have the opportunity to meet face-to-face with key influencers and to share more about what they do.”

What other music projects keep you busy throughout the year?
Ziel: “I book artists for Summerfest, colleges, universities and corporate events during the year.”

Johnson: “Scott and I put on the Pablove Foundation benefit every January, which benefits childhood cancer research. I also mentor young people who want to be music business professionals.”

What challenges does your company face in the music industry?
Johnson: “The music business is not the challenge. Getting people outside of our business to realize the economic and social aspect of our conference is the challenge.”

Ziel: “Like every industry right now, the music business is changing all the time. We follow trends and new business models to stay in the game.”

Do you have a business mantra?
Ziel: “I’ve always worked hard and treated other people with respect.”

Johnson: “Perseverance.”

What was the best advice you ever received?
Ziel: “Have long-term goals in small business. Those that hang in the longest and focus on those goals will succeed.”

Johnson: “Perseverance.”

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
Johnson: “There are too many to count. The music business is a culture all on its own.”

Ziel: “As you can imagine, working with bands makes for some unusual and funny situations. My business partner, Doug Johnson, and I signed Little Richard one year, and unfortunately he refused to go onstage because we were withholding six percent in tax for the state of Wisconsin. He asked us if we ‘understood that he was the architect of rock ’n’ roll?’ In an effort to get him onstage, we promised to split the tax burden with him to which he responded, ‘I knew it. I knew it the moment you walked in the door that you two are good men.’”

What do you like to do in your free time?
Johnson: “Spending quality time with my wife and children and also rehabbing our house.”

Ziel: “I have a great wife and an 18-month-old son, so I’m all about family right now. We’ve been able to travel a bunch with him and do all of the fun summer stuff.”

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Hot Bubbler Books
August 28, 2014 11:13 AM
Five bestselling business books you should read:
1. “Promise of a Pencil,” by Adam Braun
2. “Prosperity in the Age of Decline,” by Alan Beaulieu and Brian Beaulieu
3. “Power of No,” by Claudia Azula Altucher and James Altucher
4. “It Worked for Me,” by Colin Powell
5. “Happiness Project,” by Gretchen Rubin

Courtesy of 800 CEO Read.

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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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