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Thursday, December 18, 2014
Greater Milwaukee Foundation to steward Kohl's gift toward arena
December 18, 2014 09:59 AM
Former U.S. Senator and Milwaukee Bucks owner Herb Kohl has designated the Greater Milwaukee Foundation the steward of the $100 million gift he plans to make toward the development of a new downtown arena.
The $100 million, which Kohl announced in April when he also announced the Bucks’ new owners, is the largest gift the foundation has ever received and falls as the organization prepares to celebrate its centennial in 2015.

“Because of their long history of working with donors to strengthen the region, I am pleased to partner with the Greater Milwaukee Foundation to help me fulfill my promise to the community we cherish,” Kohl said in a statement. “As GMF looks ahead to its exciting next chapter of service to our community, and with the Bucks’ commitment to keep Milwaukee an NBA city, now is the time to keep the momentum and excitement growing for the future of downtown development and to preserve this important asset for our state.”

The foundation, which aids donors in achieving their philanthropic goals, will partner with Kohl to allocate the $100 million toward a new arena in line with his pledge. The NBA has mandated that Milwaukee have a new arena constructed by November 2017 in order to keep the Bucks.

“We will work with Senator Kohl to carry out his intent with the gift,” said Ellen Gilligan, GMF president and CEO. “He is both hopeful and expectant that there will be a new arena, and I think that that is part of his visionary gift for the future of downtown Milwaukee.”

Should a new arena not come to fruition by the NBA’s deadline, Gilligan said the foundation will aid Kohl in redirecting his vision of his gift.

“We will work with Senator Kohl as we would with any donor to carry out his charitable purposes,” Gilligan said. “This is a charitable gift, so it will remain a charitable gift.”

This is the first gift GMF has ever stewarded from Kohl, though Gilligan has known Kohl since she arrived in Milwaukee.

It is “very exciting” for the foundation to receive a gift of this size, particularly at the dawn of one of its most significant years, she said.

“$100 million on the eve of our 100th anniversary is just a fabulous way to start our centennial year, and it just reinforces for us the importance of our donors and strengthening our community and what role we can play in helping them carry out their philanthropic goals,” Gilligan said.

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Hoffman to retire in May
December 18, 2014 10:27 AM
Neil Hoffman, president of the Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, has announced plans to retire in May after seven years at the helm of the school.
Korn Ferry, a Los Angeles, Calif.-based talent management solutions firm, will partner with MIAD to identify its next president, who is slated to take over next year. The firm will work with an 11-member president search committee to secure a final candidate by June 2015. That committee, chaired by board vice chair Robert Mikulay, includes representatives from MIAD’s board of trustees, faculty, staff and alumni.

Hoffman’s retirement coincides with MIAD’s 40th anniversary. His tenure has been marked by significant progress made to the university’s academic programs, long-term planning and infrastructure. He is also credited with helping MIAD garner national and international recognition.

“Under president Neil Hoffman’s seven years of leadership, MIAD has developed groundbreaking programs, expanded its curricular partnerships, opened a new residence hall and positioned the college for continued success under a new president,” MAID board chair Madeleine Kelly Lubar said in a statement.

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PRSA names new board members
December 18, 2014 10:02 AM
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) Southeastern Wisconsin Chapter recently named its 2014 board of directors at its annual PR Palooza.
The members of the board are:
*President: Bill Bussler, Kohler.
*President-elect, Heidi Fendos, Fendos PR.
*Immediate past president: Samantha Andrews, MBA, APR, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin.
*Treasurer: Annie Gentil, Standard Process Inc.
*Secretary: Phill Trewyn, Mueller Communications Inc.
*Membership officer: Tim Olsen, APR, Froedtert Health.
*Ethics officer: Karren Jeske, APR, Standard Process Inc.
*Director at large: Meg Hemmelgarn, STIR Advertising & Integrated Messaging.
*Director at large: Don Klein, Aurora Health Care.
*Director at large: Sara Rude, Nelson Schmidt, Inc.
*Director at large: Carol Weber, APR, Wisconsin Dental Association.
*Assembly delegate: Ann Peru Knabe, PH.D, APR+M, University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.
*Assembly delegate: W. Patrick McSweeney, APR, Laughlin Constable.
*Assembly delegate: Kelly Savage, APR, State Farm Insurance.
“2014 was a great year for our chapter,” Bussler said. “Membership is up, and we had some great professional development and networking events. We’re looking forward to going into 2015 with a strong leadership team. We already have a number of great events planned.”

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Marquette Law School to debut free legal services for entrepreneurs
December 18, 2014 10:06 AM
Marquette University Law School will provide free legal services to startups and entrepreneurs beginning next spring through a new Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic.
The benefits of the new program are at least twofold: While entrepreneurs strapped for resources will have access to legal counsel, the program will also give Marquette law students hands-on experience in business law under the direction of a licensed attorney and faculty member.

The clinic, supported by donations to the law school’s annual fund, will largely be manned by students, who will collaborate with volunteer working attorneys and who will receive curricular credit for their participation.

Students involved will advise clients over a series of months, or longer, on legal matters including business-entity selection and formation, corporate governance, funding, business contracts, employment, business licenses and permits, commercial leases, and basic intellectual property concerns.

The clinic will open during spring semester 2015 but will operate in a limited capacity until fall 2015. Leading its launch is Nathan Hammons, who will serve as director and a full-time clinical faculty member as he oversees and mentors clinical law students.

Hammons previously was an adjunct professor at the law school while running a private law practice in Milwaukee. He is experienced in aiding early-stage entrepreneurs and small businesses, particularly tech startups, located in southeastern Wisconsin and has made presentations on legal issues relevant to startups to the Milwaukee Bar Association, among other organizations.

“I’m honored to be a part of the Marquette community and excited to help launch the clinic,” Hammons said in a statement. “The clinic will help train students to become top-notch business attorneys while giving them yet another outlet to answer the university’s call to serve others and enhance our community.”

The clinic also represents one arm of Marquette’s push to be more intentional in fostering innovation and entrepreneurship across campus, a push propelled by university president Michael Lovell, Ph.D.

“Entrepreneurs always need more time to spend on their ideas and innovations, which is exactly what the law school’s new Law and Entrepreneurship Clinic will allow them to do,” Lovell said in a statement. “In return, our students will learn how to have a direct impact on the next wave of startups. Together, we’ll advance the region’s reputation as a place where great concepts thrive.”

Clinic clients will be selected according to several criteria, such as access to legal services, educational fit, and ability to impact the community.

Clients seeking counsel for patents will be referred to local attorneys. The clinic also will not offer litigation or fulfill other needs beyond the range of standard legal services for new businesses.

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Bartolotta partnering with Hospitality Democracy
December 18, 2014 10:30 AM
The Bartolotta Restaurants’ Downtown Kitchen, housed in the U.S. Bank Center, added Holey Moley doughnuts to its menu this week.
Doughnuts will be sold at the restaurant each weekday beginning at 6:30 a.m. until all doughnuts are gone, according to the Milwaukee-based restaurant group.

Holey Moley, owned by Milwaukee-based Hospitality Democracy, specializes in scratch-made doughnuts. The doughnut shop, located at 316 N. Milwaukee St. in Milwaukee, offers a variety of doughnuts, including cake, raised-yeast, filled, gluten free and vegan.

“Joe Sorge (president of Hospitality Democracy) and I have always had a friendly relationship and a mutual admiration and respect for one another,” Joe Bartolotta, president and co-owner of The Bartolotta Restaurants said in an announcement. “At Downtown Kitchen, we’re trying to partner with as many top local vendors as we can, and when it comes to doughnuts, Holey Moley is the way to go.”

Downtown Kitchen, which opened in September, also partners with Valentine Coffee, Outpost Natural Foods, Rocket Baby Bakery, Indulgence Chocolate, Sprecher and Milwaukee Pretzel Company.

The restaurant’s selection of doughnuts will vary, but pricing will be comparable to that of Holey Moley.

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Take the BizTimes Economic Dashboard Survey
December 18, 2014 10:33 AM
Readers of are invited to take a moment to fill out the 2015 BizTimes Economic Dashboard Survey.
The brief survey asks readers to share their projections about their companies’ revenues, profits, hiring and more for the year ahead.

The results of the annual survey will be included in the Economic Trends special report in the Jan. 26 edition of BizTimes Milwaukee magazine.

To complete the survey, visit

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GMR Marketing names Parsons CEO
December 18, 2014 10:35 AM
New Berlin-based GMR Marketing has announced founder Gary Reynolds will become chairman of the marketing agency, and chief operating officer Cameron Parsons will replace him as global chief executive officer in January.
Reynolds founded GMR in Milwaukee in 1979 and went on to invent experiential marketing, now a multi-billion dollar industry. In his new role, he will offer strategic, day-to-day counsel.

Parsons will be responsible for everyday management of the company. He has more than 30 years of marketing experience and joined GMR as managing director international in 2005. Parsons previously served as director of operations for DAS Global in China and GMR’s managing director in Asia Pacific. He has also led agencies in Los Angeles, Sydney and his hometown, Melbourne.

GMR has 17 offices in nine countries, providing experiences for major brands in the music, sports, entertainment and lifestyle industries. Its work has included campaigns for the Olympics, FIFA World Cup, Super Bowl, Fashion Week, Sundance Film Festival and SXSW.

“As GMR’s footprint continues to grow, the need for management that can deliver true global strategy and leadership is crucial,” Reynolds said. “Cameron’s extensive breadth of experience and success makes him the perfect person to take GMR and its clients to the next level.”

“GMR’s award-winning work and strong client relationships are a testament to Gary’s leadership,” Parsons said. “The opportunity to take his vision to the next level is an honor. I’m looking forward to enhancing GMR’s existing client partnerships and building new ones as we continue on our path to be the most significant and dynamic marketing agency in the world.”

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Bubbler Quote of the Week
December 18, 2014 10:38 AM

“His collaborative approach to developing relationships with business leaders and the business community and the importance of those partnerships with other higher education institutions – MATC, Marquette, MSOE, you can go on and on here – all of that's important, and he's really committed to that.”
~Ray Cross, University of Wisconsin System president, on the appointment of Mark Mone to UWM chancellor.
Read Tuesday’s Milwaukee Biz Blog by Erica Breunlin: Mone seeks ‘open door’ with business community.

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BizTimes Bubbler Executive of the Week: Lauren Trotnow
December 18, 2014 10:39 AM

Lauren Trotnow, Presidential Director (based in Milwaukee) of Visalus Sciences    
Company address: 340 E. Big Beaver Rd., Suite 400, Troy, MI 48083
Website: or    
Industry: Health and fitness
Family: 6-year-old son, Brenton

What is ViSalus Sciences?  
“Also known as the Project 10 Challenge, we are the No. 1 Health and Fitness Challenge in the marketplace today. We have more documented before and after transformations than any other company in existence, and we are just getting started. With $1.8 billion in sales in just under five years since we launched Project 10, our mission is impact as many lives as we can by challenging the world to lose 10 pounds or put on 10 pounds of lean muscle through our meal replacement platform. Every time someone successfully completes our challenge, a child in need is sponsored through a local hospital or nonprofit. Obesity-related illnesses claim more than 7,600 lives on a DAILY basis. That is two times the amount of souls we lost on Sept. 11th. Our entire mission is to collectively reverse the trend of obesity on a global scale.”    

What inspired you to become an entrepreneur with the company?
“I have always believed that the only security you have in this world is the security that you create for yourself and by your own effort. We are in a new economy, one that is shifting drastically and one that no longer offers the traditional loyalty or longevity that you once saw in corporate America. The only way I believe you can ensure your future, and your family’s future, is to take control over your life circumstances and not use them as an excuse, but rather as a reason, to design your life and your financial success. Looking for a way to be in an independent role, I have always had a passion for health and fitness and was searching for a way to serve a vast amount of people to create a large impact. I took note of Visalus and their exceptional growth, as well as understood their mission to not only reverse the trend of obesity but serve children in need in the process. I could not think of a more honorable way to earn an income than to help people gain control of their health and get in the best shape of their lives by accepting the Project 10 Challenge. We hold the record for creating the most before and after documented transformations, more than any other company out there, obviously giving all those people a newfound confidence which naturally carries over to increased success in all areas. As a bonus, we also offer individuals an opportunity to improve their finances on a full-time, spare-time or part-time basis, should they choose, by helping us on our mission and spreading the word about our cause. To date, we have put over 18,000 people in paid for BMW’s, created over 800 six-figure income earners and 50 millionaires for doing just that.”  

What was the smartest thing ViSalus Sciences did in the past year?  
“Visalus is led by three incredibly innovative and cutting edge founders who have literally disrupted and redefined the entire direct sales industry from day one. As further testament to their commitment and loyalty to their independent sales promoters, it was just announced that they will be putting 6 percent of their equity (we are a $1.8 billion company) into qualifying independent promoters’ hands, making them owners of Visalus along with the founders. This has created an incomparable culture of partnership that is second to none and that will create legacy income for countless families and for generations to come.”  

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?  
“Project 10 is growing at such a rapid rate both in the U.S. and internationally (we are now in 11 countries), I can see it being necessary for us to keep careful watch and ensuring we hire enough manpower to keep up with the demand for our products. However, this has never served to be an issue for us in the past, all throughout going from $32 million in sales to $1.8 billion in just about five short years. I trust we have a strong handle on it and am excited to see the next five years and beyond unfold as we continue to be the leader in providing healthy fast food to the marketplace.”

How does ViSalus Sciences stay ahead of competitors in the health and wellness marketplace?  
“Visalus and Project 10 have literally innovated challenge marketing and have made it a mainstream. We have taken a global issue, obesity, and created a fun, simple solution which offers a way to help people get healthy, do it for a good cause, enter a drawing to win $1,000 every time they lose 10 pounds of fat or put on 10 pounds of lean muscle (we give away $10,000 weekly) and do it for free, should they choose. People save money on their grocery expense while getting in the best physical shape of their lives. Further, our method of marketing has been replicated throughout every turn. We also have the strongest viral presence on Facebook, more than any other company, which keeps our cause and our mission in the public eye.”  

Do you have a business mantra?  
“‘Do today what others will not so you may have tomorrow what others cannot.’ It is a constant reminder to myself that staying consistent and doing the small, necessary things daily and without fail will compound to returns beyond my wildest dreams. While the majority may choose immediate gratification and distractions over discipline, I remind myself to stay the course. Obviously, I still enjoy life and the good things it has to offer with those who are important to me. However, instead of pursuing having the ‘time of my life’ in the short term and in the here and now through distractions, I choose to design my future so that I can one day have the time of my life for the rest of my life.”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?  
“Our co-founder and absolute industry leader, Nick Sarnicola. Nick started in the direct sales industry when he was just 17 years old and has literally gone from nothing to creating a fortune and generational wealth for himself and his family. He has already earned well over $10 million with our compensation structure in the past five years. Nick is one of the most persistent, focused and disciplined individuals I have had the privilege of knowing and working with. Not only are he and his wife sought after speakers, trainers and entrepreneurs, but he is also a husband, father and one of the most generous and loyal individuals I have ever met. Being in his presence and learning how he thinks, manages challenges and persists through any circumstance raises my expectations of myself by realizing what is possible through his example. Nick is near the same age as me and done all of this in the same time frame I have been around…seems I have some work to do.”

What was the best advice you ever received?  
“Treat average like a terminal disease. That is just how I view average, as a death sentence to your potential. I literally despise mediocrity and all that it stands for as I believe it robs so many of what they can achieve in this world. Sadly, I believe that most people really do live a life of quiet desperation, not living up to what they can accomplish by doing ‘just enough’ to get by. We all have greatness within us, a calling that once stirred who we are at our core. We get conditioned as we get older to be ‘responsible’ and do the safe thing, which sadly translates into settling for the elusive ‘security’ or just ‘enough.’ In all that I do, I give my all. I stretch, grow…succeed, fail, learn, begin again, succeed, fail...over and over again. That, to me, is living.”

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?  
“When I was in college I worked for Jerry Springer. Obviously, it was not my most glamorous role. That is probably enough said on that one and funny in and of itself. I am never sure whether to laugh or cry over that experience.”
What do you like to do in your free time?
“Obviously, I have an extreme passion for fitness and working out, so I spend quite a bit of time being physically active and enjoying the benefits that affords me. I also treasure every moment I get to share with my little boy, Brenton, no matter what activity we are engaged in. I also am an avid believer in personal growth and development; I try to read at least one new book a month. My inner circle and close personal relationships are the most valuable asset I could have. Nurturing those connections and spending time with those who both enrich me and who I can enrich in return continually fill me with light and laughter.”

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Bubbler Calendar
December 18, 2014 10:41 AM

*Friday, Dec. 19, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce will hold a breakfast roundtable event with Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch. The free event will focus on exporting the state’s goods and services. The roundtable will run from 7:30 to 9 a.m. at the MMAC’s offices, located at 756 N. Milwaukee St. Suite 400 in downtown Milwaukee. For more information or to register, click here.

*Friday, Dec. 19, Palermo’s Pizza will present a Christmas wine and wood-fired pizza pairing at Pizzeria 3301, located at 3301 W. Canal St. in Milwaukee. During the event, attendees will be able to sample five Italian wines paired with five wood-fired gourmet pizzas. Attendees will also have an opportunity to tour the pizza factory and purchase bottles of wine at a discount. The pairing, which runs about two hours, will start at 7 p.m. with a cash bar opening at 6 p.m. Tickets cost $30, and attendees must be at least 21 years old. Reservations are required. For more information, click here.

*Friday, Dec. 19; Saturday, Dec. 20; and Sunday, Dec. 21, the Milwaukee Ballet will continue its annual holiday productions of “The Nutcracker” at the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts, located at 929 N. Water St. in Milwaukee. The family-friendly performances of the famous ballet run two hours. Performances are scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on Friday, 1:30 and 7:30 p.m. on Saturday, and 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. on Sunday. Additional performances are scheduled to run throughout the month. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

*Sunday, Dec. 21, the City of Glendale will host a Community Menorah Lighting Ceremony in celebration of Chanukah. The event, free and open to the public, will be held from 5 to 6 p.m. in the rotunda of Bayshore Town Center, located at 5800 N. Bayshore Drive in Glendale. In addition to the lighting of a 9-foot menorah, the event will include food and catering, a photo booth, and music and entertainment. For more information, click here.

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BizTimes Poll Question
December 18, 2014 10:43 AM
Should the United States lift its restrictions and normalize its relations with Cuba?
Tell us what you think by responding to the BizTimes Poll Question today.

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BizTimes Around Town: Fittest Execs
December 18, 2014 10:45 AM
BizTimes Media recently hosted the 2014 Fittest Execs awards, which honored winners of the executive fitness competition and offered corporate wellness program insight from local experts. Attendees celebrated the participants with cocktails and appetizers.
Check out BizTimes’ Around Town gallery of the event here.

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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.

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

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