Southeastern Wisconsin business people make it happen.
Thursday, October 30, 2014
Zetts to continue leadership of Menomonee Valley Partners
October 30, 2014 10:50 AM
Corey Zetts has transitioned from acting executive director of Menomonee Valley Partners Inc. to executive director of the organization, according to an appointment announced on Wednesday.
Zetts, who previously served as MVP’s associate director, took over leadership of the nonprofit community development organization in September when former executive director, Laura Bray, left to become CEO of Madison-based BioForward, Inc.

During her near 10-year run at MVP, Zett has largely focused on real estate development and business recruitment, infrastructure and design planning, habitat restoration, public art and community engagement, according to the organization.

Among the projects Zetts has contributed to throughout her career are the transformation of the former Milwaukee Stockyards into the Canal Commerce Center, the redevelopment of the Milwaukee Road Shops into Menomonee Valley Industrial Center and the establishment of new businesses to the area. She has also been part of the emergence of Three Bridges Park, completion of the Hank Aaron State Trail and creation of the Urban Ecology Center’s Menomonee Valley branch.

“The valley’s success is the result of bold vision, strong planning and collaboration across public and private sectors,” said Mick Hatch, president of MVP’s board of directors. “Our board knows that Corey’s expertise in urban redevelopment, enthusiasm for our work, and relationships with our many stakeholders make her the best choice to lead MVP into the future.”

Additionally, Zetts has been a force in strategic planning initiatives for the long-term development of the Menomonee Valley area.

“The recent revitalization of the valley has been extraordinary and has helped make Milwaukee a model of sustainable redevelopment,” Zetts said. “I am excited to work with our strong board, staff and partners as we continue to help move the valley towards its full potential. We will be focusing on revitalizing the many underutilized properties that remain in the valley, capitalizing on upcoming infrastructure projects, and job opportunities in the valley.”

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Central Standard introduces spirits to retail locations
October 30, 2014 10:53 AM
Central Standard Craft Distillery has expanded its beverages beyond the tasting room with a new retail distribution plan.

The distillery, based in Milwaukee, began selling its spirits in local retail locations on Monday through Sussex-based Beer Capitol Distributing. The distillery’s gin, vodka and white whiskey are now stocked at area bars, restaurants and retailers.

“We couldn’t be more eager to have our product in the market,” said Evan Hughes, cofounder of Central Standard. “We’ve seen great success since our summer opening, and it’s time to distribute our spirits around the city for people to enjoy at home and at their favorite local establishments. This is really our passion, and we’re distilling it one batch at a time.”

Central Standard Craft Distillery, which opened in June, is also aiming to grow its line of craft spirits.

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Public invited to ‘Meet the Media’
October 30, 2014 10:57 AM
Have you ever wanted to bend the ear of the publisher or editor of your favorite local news publication? Have you ever wanted to drink a cold beverage with your favorite television news anchorperson or your favorite radio newscaster? Have you ever wanted to exchange quips with your favorite political commentator, columnist or editorial writer?
This is your chance: The Milwaukee Press Club will celebrate its 129th anniversary on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2014, by giving southeastern Wisconsin residents the opportunity to meet and greet local media celebrities at a "Meet the Media" event.  

Attendees will then be entertained by more than 40 "celebrity bartenders" - professionals from nearly all of the area's media outlets, as well as various community and business leaders throughout the region.

The “Meet the (Milwaukee) Media” event will take place Dec. 4 from 5 to 8 p.m., at the Newsroom Pub, home to the Milwaukee Press Club located at 137 E. Wells St., in downtown Milwaukee.

The event is free and open to the public. However, advanced registration is required and may be done online at

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BizTimes unveils speaker lineup for 2015 Northern Trust Economic Trends Breakfast
October 30, 2014 10:59 AM
BizTimes Media LLC has announced the speaker lineup for the annual Northern Trust Economic Trends Breakfast, to be held on Thursday, Jan. 29, at the Italian Community Center in downtown Milwaukee.
The 2015 conference will provide business leaders with a sneak peek of the year ahead in business. Panelists will provide insights about the emerging trends in manufacturing, business technology, logistics, biomedical advancements, the housing market and more.

The featured panelists will include:
* Michael Knetter, Ph.D., an economist and president of the University of Wisconsin Foundation. Knetter serves as a research associate for the National Bureau of Economic Research. He serves as a consultant to the International Monetary Fund. He previously served as an associate dean of the MBA program and professor of international economics in the Amos Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College. He also served as a senior staff economist for the Council of Economic Advisors for former Presidents George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton. Knetter will provide his annual macro-economic outlook for the year ahead.
* Tina Chang, chief executive officer of SysLogic Inc., Brookfield. Chang will speak about the emerging trends in information technology for businesses.
* Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. Still will provide an update about Wisconsin’s growing biomed economy and trends among start-up businesses in the state.
* Keith Rozolis, president of ABC Supply Co. Inc., Beloit. Rozolis will speak about what lies ahead in the housing market and the latest trends in logistics.
* Todd Teske, chief executive officer of Briggs & Stratton Corp., Wauwatosa. Teske will discuss the emerging trends in manufacturing, including automation and robotics, as well as some of the prevailing retail trends.

The 2015 Northern Trust Economic Trends Breakfast will be followed by breakout sessions for business leaders. To register to attend the 2015 Northern Trust Economic Trends Breakfast to be presented by BizTimes Media, visit

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Marcus Corporation promotes general managers at area hotels
October 30, 2014 11:01 AM
Marcus Hotels & Resorts, a division of Milwaukee-based The Marcus Corporation, has promoted three general managers in its Milwaukee hotels.
Jim Waldvogel will now serve as area vice president and general manager of the Hilton Milwaukee City Center; Tim Smith will run The Pfister Hotel as general manager; and Omar Naimi will run the InterContinental Milwaukee as general manager.

Waldvogel has worked for Marcus Hotels & Resorts for the last 17 years, having joined the company as general manager of the Crowne Plaza-Northstar hotel in Minneapolis, Minn. He was promoted to general manager of the Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington in 2007 and promoted to area vice president last April. As area vice president and general manager of the Hilton Milwaukee City Center, he will lead daily operations of the hotel. He will also maintain operational oversight of The Pfister Hotel and Intercontinental Milwaukee as well as have oversight of the Hilton Minneapolis/Bloomington and the Crowne Plaza-Northstar in Minneapolis.

Smith, who has been with Marcus Hotels & Resorts for close to 30 years, will manage the company’s “flagship” property, The Pfister Hotel. Smith started his career with the company as an account executive at the Marc Plaza, now the Hilton Milwaukee. He was appointed corporate director of sales in 2005 and named general manager of InterContinental Milwaukee in 2007.

Naimi, who replaces Smith as general manager of InterContinental Milwaukee, has worked for Marcus Hotels & Resorts since 2011, when he was hired as director of hotel operations and interim general manager of The Pfister Hotel. He previously was general manager of the Tanjung Rhu Resort and Spa in Langkawi, Malaysia and, prior to that position, served Marriott Hotels & Resorts for 12 years across operations and food and beverage divisions.

Additionally, Marcus Hotels & Resorts has named Skip Harless general manager of the Hilton Madison Monona Terrace.

“Jim, Tim, Omar and Skip have demonstrated great professionalism and leadership within our company, and I have great faith that all four of these individuals will continue to make significant contributions to the continued success of Marcus Hotels & Resorts,” said Thomas Kissinger, interim president of Marcus Hotels & Resorts and senior executive vice president of The Marcus Corporation.

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The Commons announces headquarters, launch of pilot programming
October 30, 2014 11:03 AM
The Commons has established a home in a 4,000-square-foot office space at 170 S. 1st St. in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood, according to an announcement made on Monday by the nonprofit collaborative.
The Commons, first announced in August, is a venture headed by the Greater Milwaukee Committee’s Innovation in Milwaukee (MiKE) initiative and Startup Milwaukee, with foundational support from a host of academic institutions and businesses across southeastern Wisconsin. The Commons plans to operate a mentor-driven, seed accelerator program through which entrepreneurial-minded college students can grow early-stage companies and connect with area corporations seeking talent.

The nonprofit collaborative located its headquarters in an up-and-coming innovation district in Walker’s Point with support from Mandel Group Inc. and Pierce Engineers.

The headquarters will play host to the launch of the initiative’s pilot program Nov. 7-9, when students from 21 regional colleges and universities will assemble over 48 hours to create startups or tackle real-world innovation challenges presented by area companies.

The weekend will culminate in a pitch event during which student teams will present their work and explain their plans for the coming semester.

The Commons offers programming for two types of student entrepreneurs – students interested in growing their own startups and others wanting to find solutions to businesses’ innovation challenges.

Students pursuing the startup route will gain experience in hands-on leadership, business development, sales and critical thinking, according to MiKE and Startup Milwaukee. During the launch weekend, those students will be able to flesh out their own startup ideas and construct teams to advance their ideas. They’ll also have a chance to jump onto another team’s startup. Students will then develop a prototype product and build an initial customer base, using their weekend progress as a springboard for work to be completed during the spring 2015 semester.

Students in the so-called corporate innovation track will form teams and address real-world business challenges laid forth by area companies. Their work will also carry into the spring 2015 semester.

Along with support from 21 area institutions, The Commons has secured partnerships with nine companies: Briggs & Stratton Corporation, Direct Supply, Kohl’s, ManpowerGroup, Potawatomi Business Development Corporation, Okanjo, The Milwaukee Bucks, The Good Jobs and Workshop Architects.

Mentoring will be a critical component in each track as corporate professionals, academics, entrepreneurs and investors advise students along the way during a series of spring meetings and workshops.

MiKE and Startup Milwaukee aim to put the full program into motion after the spring 2015 semester.

For more information on The Commons’ weekend launch event, which is free for college students, visit

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Milwaukee Biz Blog: People are like elephants
October 30, 2014 11:06 AM
Recently, a candidate I had recruited gave notice to his current employer to take a position with one of my clients. Like most candidates, he was nervous about giving notice.
Handing in your resignation is rarely an easy event. Anyone who has ever resigned will probably tell you that. It was a big move. He wanted to make sure he handled it in a professional manner, so that he would be viewed in a positive light and not burn any bridges for the future.

Read more in Tuesday’s Milwaukee Biz Blog by Franklin consultant Jeff Kortes.

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Bubbler Quote of the Week
October 30, 2014 11:07 AM

“I was fortunate to meet a lot of great people and to establish a lot of great relationships along the way. Knowing nothing really worked in my favor, because I had to reach out for a lot of help. When you don't know anything, you seek out experts. I think it ended up being an asset, rather than a liability.”
~Marie Moody, founder and chairwoman of Stella & Chewy’s LLC.
Read the entire BizTimes Milwaukee cover story by Hilary Dickinson: Bow WOW! Stella & Chewy’s is on the fast track.

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BizTimes Bubbler Executive of the Week: Joseph Kuborn
October 30, 2014 11:09 AM

Joseph Kuborn, partner of Andrus Intellectual Property Law LLP
Address: 100 E. Wisconsin Ave., Suite 1100, Milwaukee
Industry: Legal
Employees: 30
Family: Wife, Nancy; son, Adam, 18; son, Drew, 16; and daughter, Abbey, 14.

What was the smartest thing Andrus Intellectual Property Law did in the past year?
“As a result of strategic planning meetings surrounding our 75th anniversary this year, the members of the firm re-emphasized our focus on developing relationships with other attorneys, not only in Wisconsin but in the rest of the United States and abroad. Because our firm focuses exclusively on intellectual property law, including patents, trademark, copyrights and trade secrets, many of our new clients come to us as referrals from other attorneys and current clients. We have been particularly successful this year in attracting new clients from this referral network.”  

What’s new at your firm?
“This year we added two new equity partners to our firm, Tammy VanHeyningen and Ben Imhoff. We now have nine equity partners, which is the most we have had for some time.    

“This summer, we transitioned our computer systems from a traditional server and desktop setup to cloud-based storage and remote desktops. Although transitioning the configuration of a computer system in an office may not seem noteworthy, it was a significant change due to the confidential nature of much of the information stored on our network. The transition has been very well received, particularly by our attorneys who are working remotely. The cloud-based system will allow our clients direct access to their files and docketing information.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your firm in the next year?
“Earlier this summer we hired a new associate. In addition, our law clerk has accepted our invitation to join us as an associate upon his graduation in 2015. We are also looking to hire an associate for our Madison office and will be opening a new office in Massachusetts later this year.

“We are currently working with one of our clients to install and implement an office wellness program. The program will include electronic movement trackers, convertible stand up desks and conference tables and other devices to stimulate movement in the office. We are hoping this will increase the health and wellness of our employees during the work day.”  

How has your firm managed to stay in business for 75 years?
“Although I have been here for only 19 of the firm’s 75 years, the firm culture has not changed since the day it opened in 1939. The firm has always focused on providing an extremely high level of legal and technical expertise to our clients. We have always focused on hiring the best people possible.  

“I think remaining in business for 75 years is a result of a three-pronged approach: First, our attorneys and staff strive to be experts in the field of intellectual property law; second, we strive to provide excellent personal service to our clients; and third, we maintain a strong and lean business model so that we can deliver our services in the most cost-effective manner possible.”  

What will be Andrus’ main challenges in the next year?
“The most difficult, but exciting, challenge for us next year may be maintaining our existing standards and firm culture while expanding our firm in three separate offices. Our client base continues to grow, and we will need to add and train additional attorneys to provide the level of service our current clients have come to expect and our new clients have been promised.”  

Do you have a business mantra?
“I believe the statement ‘client-focused advice’ describes what we try to provide to our clients. Our clients look to us for advice to help solve their business problems and protect their technology, not just to provide a legal analysis of the issues they are facing.”   

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
“When I first started at Andrus, Glenn Starke was the senior partner. Whenever I told other attorneys and business associates that I worked at Andrus, they were unanimous in their praise for Mr. Starke. I had a chance to work with Mr. Starke during my first few years at the firm, and he was the epitome of a legal professional. I knew right away that if I patterned my legal practice after his, I would retire proud of my career and of how I influenced those around me.”

What was the best advice you ever received?
“When I was in engineering school, we were required to take a professional development class, which focused on real life aspects of being an engineer. During one class, a patent attorney spoke to us about careers we could pursue with our engineering degree. After class, I had a chance to meet with the attorney and discuss my interest in his career. He strongly suggested that I look into law school and becoming a patent attorney. It was one of the best decisions I have ever made.”

What do you like to do in your free time?
“Over the years, I have coached baseball and basketball teams for all three of my children, which was definitely worth all of the time spent. My youngest is now in high school, so my coaching days are over. I still play baseball and try to golf as much as possible during the short Wisconsin golf season.”

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BizTimes Poll Question
October 30, 2014 11:12 AM
Do you fear that the Ebola outbreak will reach Wisconsin?
Tell us what you think by responding to the BizTimes Poll Question today.

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BizTimes Around Town: 123@5
October 30, 2014 11:13 AM
Ovation Leadership recently hosted its quarterly networking event, 123@5, at Rail Hall in Milwaukee. The business networking event is held in the first month of each quarter, in the second week of the month, on the third day of the week at 5 p.m.
Check out BizTimes’ Around Town gallery of the event here.

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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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