Southeastern Wisconsin business people make it happen.
Thursday, May 7, 2015
City Year Milwaukee to grow mission with $3 million challenge grant
May 7, 2015 11:14 AM
A $3 million challenge grant awarded to City Year Milwaukee will help the nonprofit expand its mission to motivate students through elementary, middle and high school grades toward college and career opportunities.

The grant, awarded by the David and Julia Uihlein Charitable Foundation, will push City Year Milwaukee to raise an additional $3 million from the community.

“This campaign helps City Year build on our already solid foundation of community support in order to increase our impact on students and young leaders in Milwaukee,” said Jason Holton, executive director of City Year Milwaukee.

The nonprofit organization, which just turned 5 years old, has 85 City Year Milwaukee AmeriCorps members working in Milwaukee schools to support and mentor students on the brink of dropping out. Along with directly assisting teachers in the classroom, corps members hold afterschool programs and school-wide activities in order to better engage students and enhance school climate.

City Year Milwaukee, which is part of an international City Year organization, has ushered 270 corps members through its programming since its inception.

The challenge grant was announced Monday evening during the organization’s fifth anniversary celebration, themed “Ripples of Hope.” The celebration, sponsored by BizTimes Media, was held at Turner Hall with a crowd of about 350.

Julia Uihlein, board chair of City Year Milwaukee, joined Holton at the event to highlight the foundation’s gift.

“The work that City Year is doing is important and it is clear to us that there is a strong return on investment, as we see the academic outcomes of students improve and more highly trained young professionals - corps members - staying in Milwaukee after their service year,” Uihlein said. “That’s the impact we know this challenge grant will have: on the community, students, and corps members: Milwaukee’s future. This is why I'm excited that we have committed to helping City Year stay in Milwaukee and grow.”

Uihlein, who led discussions to establish a City Year branch in Milwaukee, also received the Ripples of Hope award during the anniversary celebration as a thank you for her commitment to the organization.

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Pottery studio opens in West Allis
May 7, 2015 11:16 AM
Downtown West Allis has become home to Cream City Clay, a new pottery studio that will host hands-on pottery classes for adults and children of all skill levels.

The pottery studio, located in a 2,300-square-foot space at 7105 W. Greenfield Ave., officially opened its doors on Friday with a ribbon cutting ceremony.

The studio is owned and operated by Colleen Volland, an artist and teacher who has more than 18 years of artistry experience. In preparation for opening her own small business, Volland completed courses offered through a partnership between the City of West Allis and Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corporation.

WWBIC is a statewide organization that serves aspiring business owners with resources, classes and business loan options. The City of West Allis builds on that mission through a grant of Community Development Block Grant funds, which allow the city’s pool of small businesses and entrepreneurs to tap into business education and technical assistance.

Cream City Clay has already received “a warm welcome” from the West Allis community, Volland said, and will “be full of creative people, creative energy and beautiful art.”

The pottery studio is now one of about 100 businesses located in downtown West Allis.

“It is great to see a pottery studio opening in our downtown and adding to the eclectic mix of unique, independent businesses,” Mayor Dan Devine said. “People continue to realize that West Allis is a great place to put their vision in motion and join a growing small business community.”

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Harley-Davidson Museum announces new Bikes, Brats & Beer summer tour
May 7, 2015 11:19 AM
The Harley-Davidson Museum will celebrate summer in the city with a new tour developed in partnership with Milwaukee Food & City Tours. The Milwaukee Legends Tour: Bikes, Brats & Beer will be offered Thursdays and Sundays from May 21 to Sept. 6.

“Whether a first-time visitor to the city or a Milwaukee native looking for a unique experience, tour participants will learn something new about local history and culture and have a lot of fun along the way,” said Bill Davidson, vice president of the Harley-Davison Museum based in Milwaukee.

Each three-and-a-half hour excursion kicks off with a guided tour of the museum, highlighting the journey of the Harley-Davidson founders from creating a garage start-up to building the iconic, global brand. Participants will then board a museum bus and take a historical tour focused on Milwaukee’s legendary beer- and sausage-making heritage. The narrated journey through the Menomonee and Miller Valleys and downtown highlights the family mansions of Milwaukee beer barons, Pabst Brewery Complex, Schlitz Park and Usinger’s Famous Sausage Shop.

The tour includes two stops where participants will sample authentic German brats and classic Wisconsin cheeses at Wisconsin Cheese Mart on Old World 3rd Street and beer tastings during a Lakefront Brewery tour. The journey ends back at the museum with the option to experience Bike Night (5 p.m. to 9 p.m.) after Thursday tours.

The Milwaukee Legends Tour is offered Thursdays from 3 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. and Sundays from 11 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $60 per person and can be purchased at Ticket price includes all-day museum admission along with a 10 percent discount at MOTOR Bar & Restaurant and The Shop. Tour participants must be 21 years or older.

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Invitation to attend the BizExpo
May 7, 2015 11:21 AM
Southeastern Wisconsin business leaders are invited to attend the 11th annual BizExpo, which will take place Wednesday, May 20, at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee.

Registration to attend the BizExpo is free in advance and $20 per person at the door.

With registration, attendees will be able to walk the BizExpo floor and visit more than 125 business exhibit booths, as well as attend 18 business seminars, ranging in topics from sales and management to marketing, crisis management and staffing. To view the roster of business experts who will present seminars, click here.

The BizExpo, which also includes some premium events such as the Women In Business Breakfast, the Bravo! Entrepreneur and I.Q Awards Luncheon and the BizExpo After Hours, is produced by BizTimes Media. To register to attend the BizExpo, visit

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Milwaukee to host 2015 Skate America
May 7, 2015 11:24 AM
U.S. Figure Skating announced Monday that Milwaukee will play host to the 2015 Skate America, an international figure skating competition.

The event, Milwaukee’s first ever major international figure skating event, will be held at the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena from October 22 to 25. It is one of six stops in the International Skating Union Grand Prix of Figure Skating Series.

“U.S. Figure Skating is excited to bring Skate America to Milwaukee,” said David Raith, U.S. Figure Skating executive director. “We look forward to hosting a world-class figure skating competition in the area for the first time and hope ticketholders have an excellent experience, whether attending their first or 50th skating competition.”

A field of 56 ladies, men’s, pairs and ice dance athletes, many of whom are Olympic and World-level competitors, will be announced in June. Skate America’s past titlists include five-time World champion and two-time Olympic medalist Michelle Kwan and Olympic champions Kristi Yamaguchi, Scott Hamilton, Evan Lysacek, and Meryl Davis and Charlie White.

The Skate America delegation will be hosted by the Hilton Milwaukee City Center. More information and ticketing will be live on the event website at on May 12.

“Milwaukee is very excited to host its first international event with U.S. Figure Skating and to welcome current and future Olympians to the UW-Milwaukee Panther Arena, a totally renovated facility that has featured everything from the Beatles to ice hockey,” said Paul Upchurch, president and chief executive officer of VISIT Milwaukee.

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Arrowhead High School plans new manufacturing, engineering center
May 7, 2015 11:27 AM
Arrowhead High School in Hartland plans to open a new 10,000-square-foot manufacturing and engineering center at the start of the new school year on Sept 1.

The school board has secured the $2 million needed for the infrastructure, demolition, furnishings and technology, according to director of learning Bonnie Laugerman, but the school is currently fundraising $500,000 for equipment.

As of mid-April when the latest figures were announced, the school had collected $125,000 from business partners. The goal is to eventually raise a total of $1 million for new equipment, but only half is needed by the start of the school year.

The new manufacturing and engineering space will consist of two engineering labs, a manufacturing lab, an innovation lab and a design center. Presently, the school has a woodworking area, a small engines area, a seldom-used metalworking area, and outdated equipment, Laugerman said.

Demolition on the new learning centers is scheduled to begin June 1. Milwaukee-based Eppstein Uhen is the architectural firm, and Miron Construction, also of Milwaukee, is the construction management firm.

“We want to be more responsive to the economic need and to fill the workforce shortage gap,” Laugerman said. “We want to broaden our kids’ experiences and to give them a more purposeful look at their opportunities.”

Along those lines, Arrowhead High School is also offering two new manufacturing and engineering courses this fall. The first, Instruction to Engineering and Manufacturing, is a revamped course that provides more hands-on learning. The second is a completely new course called Manufacturing and Engineering with Materials. The materials will consist of metals, woods, plastics and composites.

“The simple fact is that Waukesha County manufacturing companies are clamoring to fill jobs that lead to well-paying and satisfying careers in manufacturing,” said superintendent Craig Jefson. “As in many other school districts, however, our students routinely discount manufacturing opportunities, including those that provide great pay and career path prospects, because of outdated perceptions that manufacturing is dirty, unsafe, and not lucrative. We need to change this perception and do a better job of introducing manufacturing as a safe and well-paying career path for our students.”

Those interested in contributing to the fundraising effort may contact Laugerman at (262) 369-3611 ext. 4204 or

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High school financial literacy program expands
May 7, 2015 11:29 AM
The EverFi Financial Literacy Program, which aims to improve financial literacy among Wisconsin high schoolers, has received funding from Brookfield-based Spring Bank that has allowed expansion into three new schools.

Wauwatosa East, Wauwatosa West and Brookfield East high schools have joined the 85 schools that offer the program, which covers everything from college loans to credit cards to retirement accounts.

EverFi is a 10-unit course with eight hours of interactive, web-based education. More than 13,000 high school students have used the tool statewide.

The EverFi program recently also received approval from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction as a “trusted resource” educational tool.

Spring Bank was one of the first sponsors of EverFi, beginning at Brookfield Central High School in 2011. It has now invested $21,000 in the program, and 20 other Wisconsin banks serve as sponsors. Students who participated in Spring Bank’s program in 2013-2014 improved their assessments by 22 percent after completing the course.

“Now that we have a significant amount of data that proves the program’s success, it was an easy decision to fund expanding the digital platform into more of our area high schools,” said David Schuelke, Spring Bank president. “For many of these kids, buying a car or borrowing money for college is already happening or soon will be, and we want to help better prepare them to realistically handle these real world financial challenges.”

“EverFi has helped my students lay a great foundation for their final projects in which they actually have a salary, buy a car, pay for housing and generally replicate what their financial situation might be as realistically as possible,” said Nick Heiting, business and personal finance teacher at Wauwatosa West High School. “Students like having the ability to go at their own pace and can easily go back over concepts they missed.”

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Milwaukee Biz Blog: The Wills and the Will Nots
May 7, 2015 11:31 AM
For generations, we have lamented the growing disparity between the Haves and the Have Nots and blamed it for the degeneration that surrounds us. But this gap is a result of something more fundamental: the disparity between the Wills and the Will Nots.

Read more in Tuesday’s Milwaukee Biz Blog by Backbone Institute founder and BizTimes Milwaukee columnist Susan Marshall.

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Bubbler Quote of the Week
May 7, 2015 11:33 AM

“To set up an ESOP is probably not as complicated as some people think. It is not much different than setting up any other type of retirement plan.”
~Timothy Stewart, an employee benefits and ESOP attorney at DeWitt Ross & Stevens in Brookfield  
Read more in BizTimes Milwaukee’s new cover story by Molly Dill: A piece of the pie: Employee Stock Ownership Plans provide unique advantages.

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BizTimes Bubbler Executive of the Week: David Gay
May 7, 2015 11:35 AM

David Gay, Milwaukee managing partner of Ernst & Young LLP
Address: 875 E. Wisconsin Ave., Milwaukee
Industry: Professional services
Employees (in Milwaukee): Approximately 200
Family: “Married to Jackie, whom I’ve known since age five. We have very spoiled rescue boxers – Hedley and Gunnar.”

What was the smartest thing Ernst & Young’s Milwaukee office did in the past year?
“We increased our local investment across all four of our service lines — advisory, assurance, tax and transactions. This investment was in the form of increased hiring, a focus on developing our people and broadening the set of services we can bring to our clients.”

What’s new at your company?
“Two things come to mind quickly. First, consistent with the investment I noted above, we welcomed five new leaders (partners, principals or executive directors) to our practice earlier this year through a combination of promotions and inbound transfers. This investment in executive-level resources speaks to the commitment we have to Milwaukee and our expanding capabilities.

“Second, at a global level, EY acquired the Parthenon Group last fall. We now work with companies to develop investment strategies across the capital lifecycle, helping them determine when and where to invest. This includes assessing the viability of potential targets. As a result, we are helping Wisconsin-based companies in ways we never have before.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your office in the next year?
“Between internships, campus hires and experienced hires, I would anticipate we’ll bring well over 40 new professionals into our practice over the next 12 months. This is balanced across all of our service lines. We are particularly focused on attracting senior managers in our assurance and tax service lines to help lead our growth and deliver exceptional client service.”  

Looking back on your last several months at the helm of the Milwaukee office, what has been your top accomplishment?
“Instilling a sense of urgency and excitement around our office priorities, the most important of which is our focus on people development. Investing in our people increases our employee engagement and the resulting creativity and impact of services we can bring to our clients.”

What will be Ernst & Young’s main challenges in the next year?
“I mentioned we anticipate bringing in over 40 new professionals, but we can only do this if we identify and attract the right candidates. Our competitors are similarly focused, so we need to leverage the strength of our diverse and inclusive culture and the opportunities we can provide as the fastest-growing Big 4 accounting firm. We’ve been named to Fortune’s ‘100 Best Companies to Work For’ list for the 17th year, and EY is a top choice for accounting students as ranked by Universum. We have a great story to tell.

“Heightened regulation is also a challenge for our profession. While public accounting is more regulated than it has ever been, helping our clients and our professionals navigate ever-changing regulations presents both an opportunity and a challenge.”

How much of your career has been spent in Wisconsin? What has kept you here?
 “I’ve spent essentially my entire career in Wisconsin. We are fortunate to have many dynamic and significant companies, and I’m thankful to be a part of an organization that serves over 95 percent of the Fortune 1000 and over 70 percent of the Russell 3000 located in our state. EY serves a similarly large share of privately held companies, and my focus is on ensuring we continue to grow our brand and expand our influence.

Do you have a business mantra?
“I’ve found, ‘How can I help?’ to be a very powerful question and an even more important state of mind.”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
“Leaders who make it a priority to have an impact on the community, whether that is through volunteerism, philanthropy or advocacy. We are fortunate to have many examples in southeastern Wisconsin.”

What was the best advice you ever received?
“To focus on my strengths, not my weaknesses, was great advice. First because it made me identify what I was truly good at and what I loved to do, which I hadn’t done before. And then I realized I could have the greatest impact when maximizing my strengths. That is how we all achieve our highest potential. Being well-rounded is important, but it’s not what will determine our ultimate trajectory.”
What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
“Well, there was that Saturday when I was a manager and I had a client that had an urgent need for our help in Mexico. I went through the firm’s international directory, dialing the home phone number of every partner near Guadalajara, telling them that I loved them. Of course, that wasn’t my intent. Apparently saying ‘Quiero (I want…)’ is much different than ‘Quiero hablar (I want to talk to…).’ Lesson learned.”

What do you like to do in your free time?
“Spending time on our farm doing just about anything — yard work, restoring outbuildings, walks in the woods. It’s a mental break and great stress reliever.”

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Hot Bubbler Books
May 7, 2015 11:36 AM
Five bestselling business books you should read:

1. “Real-Life MBA,” by Jack Welch and Suzy Welch
2. “Widgets,” by Rodd Wagner
3. “The Road to Character,” by David Brooks
4. “Curious Mind,” by Brian Grazer and Charles Fishman
5. “Get Big Things Done,” by Erica Dhawan and Saj Nicole Joni

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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