Southeastern Wisconsin business people make it happen.
Thursday, July 24, 2014
Downtown Employee Appreciation Week starts on Monday
July 24, 2014 11:02 AM
Downtown Employee Appreciation Week will hit the heart of Milwaukee on Monday, July 28, through Friday, Aug. 1, to celebrate the contributions and strides made by the downtown workforce.
The week, organized by Milwaukee Downtown, BID #21 in partnership with downtown businesses and community leaders, will offer downtown’s 81,000 employees a variety of special events, office challenge activities, giveaways and discounts.

In its ninth year, the week will unfold with a pancake breakfast on Mon., July 28, at 7:30 a.m. in Red Arrow Park. The breakfast, free and open to downtown workers, will feature remarks from Mayor Tom Barrett, Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and Milwaukee Alderman Bob Bauman. Space is limited at the breakfast, and advanced registration is encouraged.

Weekday activities will include office challenge games and 1,000-item giveaways during the lunch hour. Games and giveaways are scheduled to run from 11:45 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. in Red Arrow Park on Monday, Pere Marquette Park on Tuesday, Schlitz Park on Wednesday, Zeidler Union Square on Thursday, and Cathedral Square Park on Friday.

Food giveaways will begin at noon and will vary each day, from pizza slices to mini subs to ice cream.

Office Challenge Games, which will award prizes to top competitors, will also vary and will include Spin-O-Matic, Paper Clip Toss, ¼ Minute to Win It, and a Bucks Basketball Shootout.

A lineup of after-hours events will extend daily celebrations with a downtown beach volleyball tournament and “Downtown’s Grandest Happy Hour,” among other festivities, scheduled to take place throughout the week.

Downtown Employee Appreciation Week will wrap up with a closing ceremony on Friday, Aug. 1, at noon in Cathedral Square Park.

For more information on each event and additional discounts available to downtown employees during the week, visit

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White to retire from Wisconsin Energy Corp.
July 24, 2014 11:04 AM
Rick White will retire as vice president of corporate communications at Milwaukee-based Wisconsin Energy Corp. on July 31.
White and his wife, Mary Grace, will move back to his native North Carolina.

Barry McNulty, manager of external communications for We Energies, has been appointed to succeed White.

“Mary Grace and I have been in Milwaukee almost 17 years and have really enjoyed it here, but I'll be 65 this fall and it's time to look at some different horizons. We're headed back home to North Carolina (Raleigh), although I've learned over the years that home is really where you are and what you put into it...and this has been a great home for us,” White told BizTimes.

White said he has been appointed associate vice chancellor for communications and public affairs at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.

“Yes, I know, this is another 60-hour-a-week job. So much for sitting on the beach all day. But they're dealing with some difficult issues just now, and I can't think of a better place, or better way, to end my career. We'll come back and visit...I promise,” White said.

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Krumenacher named president of MSOE Alumni Association
July 24, 2014 11:07 AM
The Milwaukee School of Engineering Alumni Association has elected Thomas Krumenacher, a partner in Quarles & Brady LLP’s Milwaukee office, president.
The Milwaukee school’s alumni association is comprised of five national chapters and 19,000 active alumni.

Krumenacher completed his Master of Science in Engineering Management in 1998 and his Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering Technology at in 1990, both at MSOE.

He has been a member of the association’s board of directors for the past eight years and has also served as the Wisconsin area director.

“It’s an honor to be elected as MSOE’s Alumni Association president,” Krumenacher said. “I enjoyed my time as a student at MSOE, as well as being a member and the Wisconsin area director of the alumni association. I’m looking forward to being involved over the next two years with all of the alumni chapters as president.”

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Sherman takes helm of Alverno’s School of Business
July 24, 2014 11:09 AM
Alverno College has welcomed Eileen Sherman, Ph.D., as dean of its School of Business, the institution announced on Wednesday.
Sherman, who has 21 years of experience in higher education, officially started her new role on July 7, succeeding Dan Horton, who retired from Alverno after nearly three years leading its School of Business.

Alverno, which is located in Milwaukee, selected Sherman from a pool of 50 applicants and four serious candidates, according to Kathleen O’Brien, senior vice president for Academic Affairs.

The college was impressed with the breadth of Sherman’s experience in academia, health care and business, O’Brien said.

“We are thrilled to have Eileen join us as the new dean of the School of Business,” O’Brien said. “She brings a wealth of higher education and business experience to her new role that will help the school further refine its strategic vision and continue to develop graduates who can provide significant value to their employers.”

Prior to joining Alverno’s School of Business, Sherman was an associate dean in the undergraduate school of Cardinal Stritch University’s College of Business and Management as well as an associate professor.

During her tenure at Cardinal Stritch, located in Milwaukee, Sherman guided the strategies and operations behind the university’s adult accelerated and traditional undergraduate business programs. She was also responsible for devising and improving curriculum for associate-level through master-level coursework for non-traditional students.

She has also taught at Marquette University and at the Medical College of Wisconsin, both in Milwaukee.

Additionally, her career has included experience in health care administration and business ownership, according to O’Brien.

Sherman completed her Bachelor of Science degree from Worcester State College in Worcester, Mass. She earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Boston University and a doctorate in organizational behavior from Marquette University.

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DWD awards grants to Gateway and Waukesha County Technical Colleges
July 24, 2014 11:10 AM
Gateway Technical College has received nearly $1.9 million in Wisconsin Fast Forward grant funding, while Waukesha County Technical College has been allocated close to $1.7 million, Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development announced on Wednesday.
The two technical colleges were awarded portions of a grant initiative totaling more than $28 million that Gov. Scott Walker announced last week.

According to Walker’s announcement, Wisconsin is distributing more than $28 million in Wisconsin Fast Forward grants to the Wisconsin Technical College System to train more than 4,900 workers.

That system encompasses 16 schools, including Gateway Technical College in Kenosha and Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee.

At Gateway Technical College, grant dollars will support the training of a maximum 756 workers in several “high-demand areas,” the DWD said. Those areas touch disciplines in manufacturing, business management, apprenticeship, education, health care and more.

At Waukesha County Technical College, up to 168 workers will benefit from grant dollars. Workers will be trained for careers in manufacturing, education and human services, and applied science fields.

Transportation, distribution and logistics training will also be covered under the grants.

“These grant dollars will significantly impact the journey of our students pursuing high-demand programs such as welding, computer numerical control (CNC), early childhood education and transportation, and in turn benefit our local economy,” said Kaylen Betzig, interim president of Waukesha County Technical College. “We are pleased and honored that the governor recognizes WCTC’s work as an important and valuable investment.”

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Fittest Execs deadline extended
July 24, 2014 11:12 AM
Do you think you have what it takes to be a Fittest Exec?
The BizTimes Fittest Execs program has been re-vamped for 2014 to provide an even greater experience for participants and their companies. Participants will compete in two categories: Most Improved and Individual. Testing dates will be eight weeks apart in order to compare scores for the most improved. The Individual category winners will be determined by the best overall score during test-out.

Participants will enjoy several networking opportunities throughout the summer, public relations exposure, plus the potential to be named a "Fittest Exec."

Executives and teams who accept the challenge will be evaluated based on the following:

1. Biometric screening - Fingerprick blood testing compliments of Sensia Wellness.

2. Fitness Test - Assessment compliments of Wisconsin Athletic Club personal trainers.

The $99 registration fee for individual executives and $350 registration fee for corporate teams will include testing, summer networking, a 90-day Wisconsin Athletic Club membership plus a ticket to the Fittest Execs Awards event, which will be held on November 18.

The extended sign-up deadline is July 31. To register, visit

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Pettit Center renews Olympic status
July 24, 2014 11:14 AM
The Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee has renewed its agreement with the United State Olympic Committee and U.S. Speedskating to serve as an official U.S. Olympic training site.
High potential speedskaters will continue to train at the Pettit and national U.S. speedskating competitions will be held at the facility as part of the agreement, which runs through April 30, 2018.

The Pettit opened in December 1992, and was one of the first facilities in the country to earn the Olympic Training Site designation.

“The U.S. Olympic Committee is pleased to continue our long-standing Training Site relationship with The Pettit National Ice Center,” said Alicia McConnell, director of training sites and community partnerships for the U.S. Olympic Committee. “The Pettit Center’s commitment to Team USA and U.S. Speedskating will allow future generations of speedskaters to follow in the footsteps of a long line of Olympic champions that have trained and competed at the Pettit National Ice Center.”

Of the 80 U.S. speedskating medals that have been awarded in the Olympic Winter Games since 1960, 70 have gone to skaters who trained or competed at the Pettit Center and its predecessor the Outdoor Olympic Oval. The Pettit also offers recreational and developmental skating, hockey, figure skating and a run/walk track for the general public.

“We are proud of the Center’s legacy of supporting medal-winning speedskaters for more than 21 years at the Center and nearly 50 years on this site when including the Outdoor Oval,” said Randy Dean, Executive Director.  “We are honored to have an important role in returning US speedskaters to the podium for the Games in 2018 and beyond.”

“The Pettit Center plays an incredibly important role in the development of Olympic speedskating in the United States,” said Ted Morris, executive director at U.S. Speedskating. “We are thrilled the USOC continues to recognize the significance of the Pettit Center.”

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Marquette organizes search committee to find new athletic director
July 24, 2014 11:16 AM
Marquette University has formed a search committee to oversee the appointment of a new vice president and director of athletics, a position the Milwaukee school hopes to fill by the end of the fall semester.
Currently, Bill Cords is serving as interim vice president and director of athletics. Cords, who headed Marquette’s athletics programs from 1987 to 2006, took over for Larry Williams following his resignation from the leadership post last December.

In a letter that Marquette University President Michael Lovell, Ph.D., wrote to the campus community earlier this month, he announced that Bill Henk, Ph.D., dean of the College of Education, will chair the search committee for a new vice president and director of athletics. Henk has been a dean and a professor of literacy at Marquette for the past 10 years.

The committee is also comprised of Marquette faculty members Sarah Bonewits Feldner, Ph.D., associate professor of communication studies; Richard Jones, Ph.D., professor of social and cultural sciences and NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative; Danielle Josetti, associate athletics director, compliance; Dr. Carolyn Smith, executive director, Marquette University Medical Clinic; Todd Smith, director of sports performance; and Owen Sullivan, a member of the Marquette University Board of Trustees and a retired executive of Right Management, Jefferson Wells, and ManpowerGroup Specialty Brands.

The search is beginning this summer with help from the executive search firm Korn Ferry and a website [HYPERLINK:] created specifically for the recruiting process.

Lovell’s recent letter also addressed the search for a university provost and for a dean of the College of Business Administration. Marquette plans to launch its search for a provost at the start of the school year, with John Su, Ph.D., professor of English, director of the University Core of Common Studies, and member of the University Academic Senate, serving as chair of the process.

The pursuit of a dean of the College of Business Administration will take flight about a month after the search for a new provost begins so that the provost can weigh in on the selection, Lovell wrote. Michael Akers, Ph.D., professor and chair of accounting, and Joseph Daniels, Ph.D., professor and chair of economics, will co-chair the search committee for the business school’s new dean.

Currently, Margaret Faut Callahan, Ph.D., dean of the College of Nursing, is serving as interim provost of the university. Mark Eppli, Ph.D., is Interim James H. Keyes Dean of Business Administration.

Additionally, Marquette is in the process of establishing a search committee to replace Robert Bishop, Ph.D., former dean of the College of Engineering. Bishop resigned earlier this month to become dean of the University of South Florida’s College of Engineering. Kristina Ropella, Ph.D., executive associate dean, is filling in as interim dean during the leadership transition.

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Cover story: Milwaukee seeks a path forward for cultural & entertainment assets
July 24, 2014 11:18 AM
Most other major American cities have found ways to build NBA arenas to keep or attract teams in recent years.
The question of the moment in Milwaukee is: Can Milwaukee learn from these other cities and find a viable path forward to get a new arena built and keep the Milwaukee Bucks in town? Furthermore, will the public be willing to help finance the preservation of the region's cultural and entertainment assets?

Read about how Cleveland, Oklahoma City and Denver found the resources to build new or remodel their existing arenas, and how Milwaukee could do the same, in the cover story of the new issue of BizTimes Milwaukee magazine.

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Bubbler Quote of the Week
July 24, 2014 11:20 AM

“We are approaching a crossroads as the baby boom generation begins to retire and hands over the reins to the next generation. A great deal of knowledge and power will need to be transferred.”
~Steve Jagler, executive editor of BizTimes Milwaukee
Read Wednesday’s Milwaukee Biz Blog by Jagler: Call to executives to speak at Get Smarter Conference.

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BizTimes Bubbler Executive of the Week: Gerry Fleisher
July 24, 2014 11:21 AM

Gerry Fleisher, president of 5 Alarm Fire and Safety Equipment LLC
Address: 350 Austin Circle, Delafield
Industry: Fire service and industrial safety
Employees: 30
Family: Wife, Andrea (vice president of 5 Alarm); two sons: Carter, 13, and Coleman, 11; and three dogs

What kinds of products does your company distribute and what kinds of services do you offer?
“Our company distributes high-quality, brand name fire and safety equipment, including MSA breathing apparatuses, Lion Apparel protective clothing, Hurst Jaws of Life extrication equipment, rescue gear, hazmat products and much more. The company's diverse customer base includes fire departments, emergency government departments, municipalities and industrial plants throughout the Midwest. With a complete service department of factory trained and authorized technicians, 5 Alarm is pleased to be able to ‘Service What We Sell!’ 5 Alarm also has a complete training division comprised of extrication, ice rescue, confined space, gas detection, CPR and first aid.”

What’s new at your company?
“About a year ago, we opened a HydroStat testing facility in Delafield, where we test and certify pressure cylinders for self-contained breathing apparatuses, dive, oxygen and other related cylinders needing Department of Transportation recertification.

“Last month, we launched Firefighter Express, a firefighter equipment mobile retail store that will travel door-to-door, station-to-station, offering point of purchase on the spot. Our first mobile retail store will serve fire departments between Milwaukee and Madison, and we have tentative plans to launch two other mobile stores for service in Chicago and Indiana.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
“We hope to expand with a service center in Merrillville, Ind., offering MSA SCBAs and gas detection, Hurst Jaws of Life, and compressor and cylinder services. We also hope to add an additional MSA service technician in the western Michigan area.”

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
“The economy and municipal budgets. Our market segment is not a growth market. Most agencies are looking at consolidation or other ways to reduce expense. We offer incentives to fire departments to make it feasible to purchase from 5 Alarm Fire. We work with our main suppliers to offer better deals than our competitors while offering a significant financial savings to the fire department and ultimately the municipality. Being creative with social media and gathering a large customer base electronically is also a key contributor to our overall success.”

What has fueled your company’s growth and success over the past 20 years?
“Sad to say, but the events of Sept. 11, 2001, fueled a frenzy of spending in the fire service market. America recognized our first responders were ill equipped to respond and created the Assistance to Firefighters Grant Program. The initial amount that was budgeted from Congress totaled $880 million. The initial money spent by departments was for updating their personal protective equipment, such as SCBAs, turnout gear and other related important items. Each year since 2001, the funding has been cut accordingly. The AFG Program is being funded by more than $200 million this fiscal year.”

Do you have a business mantra?
“To be passionate: the best in every aspect of our business. To ensure our customers, vendor partners and employees experience excellence.”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
“Successful people who get up each day, slug it out in business and stay grounded to what really matters.”

What was the best advice you ever received?
“My mom used to say, ‘Listen to your tummy. If it does not feel right, don’t do it.’ Amazing how true that is.”

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
“Oh, so many over the past 25 years. Probably during the 15 years of domestic and international business travel. People are so interesting and funny, and that multiplies tenfold when you are at an airport. You see people at their best and also their worst.”

What do you like to do in your free time?
“We spend time together as a family – boating during the summer on Nagawicka Lake, RVing to vacation spots in the United States and Canada, and, of course, snowboarding during the winter.”

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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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