Southeastern Wisconsin business people make it happen.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Concordia plans first-of-its-kind summer festival
July 17, 2014 09:06 AM
Concordia University Wisconsin invites southeastern Wisconsin to celebrate the remainder of summer at its inaugural Lake Moon Festival on Saturday, Aug. 9.

The festival, free and open to the public, will bring live music, summer food, a 5K race and working artists to CUW’s Mequon campus along the shores of Lake Michigan.

Along with headliner Naima Adedapo, a Milwaukee resident and finalist on season 10 of American Idol, music entertainment will feature Arabic rock group “Painted Caves,” American punk-folk group “Zach Pietrini & the Broken Bones, and indie-pop band “I’m Not a Pilot.”

“Terrific talent with national-exposure and a local-feel really rounds out the entertainment at this year’s festival,” said event spokeswoman Gretchen Jameson. “Family-friendly means this music will appeal to all ages, and our fantastic partners at KNE (K-Nation Entertainment) are producing our music stage for a truly first-rate experience.”  

“Painted Caves” will kick off the music at 4 p.m. followed by “Zach Pietrini & the Broken Bones, “I’m Not a Pilot,” and Adedapo’s performance at 9 p.m.

The Lake Moon Festival’s 5K race will wind runners throughout CUW’s campus and up its bluff overlooking Lake Michigan.

Additionally, artists will be able to take part in a Plein Air painting competition atop the bluff, and patrons will be encouraged to take tours of the bluff, build and fly kites, and watch a boat parade.

The festival will run from 4 to 10 p.m. CUW is located at 12800 N. Lake Shore Dr. in Mequon.

For more information, visit

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WCBA promotes Baer, increases education focus
July 17, 2014 09:13 AM
The Waukesha County Business Alliance has increased its focus on strengthening the county’s business and education partnerships.

The WCBA has promoted Mary Baer to vice president of community engagement to lead these efforts. She previously served as director of membership development but will now be responsible for identifying and developing community partnerships that will address Alliance members’ needs and drive economic growth in Waukesha County.

“The position reflects Mary’s great work in growing the Manufacturing Alliance, building our current business and education partnerships, and leading the Alliance’s outreach with nonprofits, workforce development groups, economic development organizations and other community partners,” said Suzanne Kelley, president of the Alliance.

Baer recently helped launch the Waukesha MADE Action Committee, a group that works to facilitate communication between the manufacturing community and the school district. It is chaired by Nick Kroll, president and chief executive officer of Aries Industries, and members include representatives from DUECO Inc., Husco International, Hydro-Thermal Corp., MetalTek International and Weldall. Waukesha’s three high schools, Waukesha School District Superintendent Todd Gray, the Waukesha Career & Tech Ed Coordinator Amy Lange and several WCBA Education Policy Committee members are involved in the effort.

The Action Committee has five subcommittees: Beyond High School Nights, which exposes high school students and their parents to manufacturing careers; Manufacturing Businesses in the Classroom, which brings real world manufacturing problems into the classroom; Student-to-Student Interactions, which allows students participating in a manufacturing program to share their experiences with other students; Mentoring Connections, which connects students with manufacturing mentors; and MADE Calendar, which supplements school calendars with manufacturing opportunities.

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Prepare for weekend closure of I-94
July 17, 2014 09:15 AM
The Wisconsin Department of Transportation is preparing drivers for a full closure of Interstate 94 this weekend.

According to the DOT, a 54-hour full freeway closure between Highway 100 and U.S. 45 near the Zoo Interchange will take place from on Friday, July 18, at 11 p.m. through Monday, July 21, at 5:30 a.m.

Crews will be working to install a new railroad bridge just east of the Highway 100 overpass.

DOT officials said motorists should use Greenfield Avenue or Bluemound Road as east-west alternates during the closure.

"The emergency responders are already aware of the closure and have alternate routes planned," said Sandra Peterson of Milwaukee Regional Medical Center.

For additional information, visit, a media partner of BizTimes. For a list of detours, visit the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

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Marquette engineering dean departs
July 17, 2014 09:18 AM
Marquette University’s College of Engineering dean, Robert Bishop, Ph.D., has resigned to become dean of the University of South Florida’s College of Engineering.

Kristina Ropella, Ph.D., executive associate dean, will serve as interim dean effective on Tuesday. She holds a bachelor’s in biomedical engineering from Marquette and a master’s and a doctorate in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University. She has been a faculty member at Marquette for 24 years.

"Throughout her career, Dr. Ropella has been looked up to as a leader and problem solver," said Dr. Margaret Faut Callahan, interim provost and dean of the College of Nursing. "As evidenced by the variety of scholarly and professional recognition she has received, including serving as the college's executive associate dean, she is poised to keep the momentum of the college moving forward."

Marquette has recently experienced several leadership vacancies. The provost, athletic director and College of Business Administration dean positions are also currently vacant. The Milwaukee university will form a search committee in the coming weeks to replace Bishop.

"We have made great strides in our educational and research programs under Dr. Bishop's leadership," Ropella said. "His vision and relentless pursuit of excellence have resulted in new and exciting initiatives benefitting faculty and students alike."

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Kauffman program coming to Milwaukee
July 17, 2014 09:20 AM
The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation’s 1 Million Cups startup program will begin hosting meetings in the Milwaukee market beginning Aug. 6.

Kansas City-based Kauffman is known for its entrepreneurship efforts. The 1 Million Cups campaign aims to engage entrepreneurs and connect them with the community over coffee. Each city runs its program semi-autonomously.

The Milwaukee group will host meetings each Wednesday at 9 a.m. at the Historic Pritzlaff Building, 325 N. Plankinton Ave. in Milwaukee. It is being organized by Brian Taffora, managing director of Milwaukee technology startup investment firm CSA Partners LLC; Thad Nation, executive director of statewide consumer technology advocacy organization Wired Wisconsin; and Milwaukee startup accelerator gener8tor’s co-founder, Troy Vosseller.

At each meeting, two entrepreneurs will give a six-minute presentation about their startups, followed by 20 minutes of Q&A from the audience.

The 1 Million Cups campaign is different from other innovation groups in the area because it’s a different culture aimed at sharing ideas and solving startup problems, Taffora said. He hopes it can bring together the fragmented startup community in the area.

“This is a great way to bring everyone in,” he said. “It’s not a pitch environment, it’s not a ‘Shark Tank’ environment. 1 million cups wasn’t created to be critical of the entrepreneurs, but to learn and share ideas.”

There are 35 other cities that participate in the 1 Million Cups program. It is sponsored by Kauffman, and is free and open to the public.

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Ozaukee announces Business of the Year award winners
July 17, 2014 09:22 AM
Ozaukee Economic Development has named its 2014 Business of the Year award winners in small business, mid-size and large business categories.

The Business of the Year program, which launched last year, celebrates businesses that have demonstrated significant business and job growth over the past five years and businesses that have proven to be active community partners.

Shully’s Cuisine & Events in Thiensville has been crowned 2014 Small Business of the Year. Local entrepreneurs Scott and Beth Shully opened the event planning and catering company in Ozaukee in 1984. They have continued to add to their revenue stream and client base since opening, and in 2013 the company expanded its facility with a new event space known as the Watermark.

Johnson Level, a Mequon-based family owned business, has been recognized as the Mid-Size Business of the Year. Johnson Level, established in 1947, manufactures professional quality tools. Through the recession, the company developed a Lean Manufacturing initiative that optimized the function of its workshop. The company also expanded its international business relations in order to ramp up its exporting to foreign markets. As a result, Johnson Levels has increased its staff by more than 12 percent and experienced a 27.5 percent increase in revenue.

OED has named Port Washington-based Ansay and Associated the Large Business of the Year. The family-run business has been in operation since 1946. For the past 20 years, Ansay and Associates has made a point to grow by acquiring complimentary businesses and jumping into new markets, including Green Bay, West Bend and Fox Valley. The company has also increased its employee base from 85 in 2009 to 200 today and has nearly tripled its sales in the past five years.

OED will honor selected businesses at its Business of the Year and Economic Forecast Breakfast, scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 24. The event will begin at 7:30 a.m. and will be held at the Ozaukee Pavilion in Cedarburg. For more information, contact OED Executive Director Kathleen Schilling at 262-238-7730 or

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Bubbler Quote of the Week
July 17, 2014 09:23 AM
“In recent years, the legislature has demonstrated our commitment to improving Wisconsin's business climate. The technical college system plays an irreplaceable role in preparing citizens for the workforce and has led to the betterment of countless lives. I assure you the committee will be focused on improving, not diminishing, the critical role the Wisconsin technical colleges play.”

~State Rep. John Nygren (R-Marinette), co-chair of the Legislature's budget writing committee and the Joint Committee on Finance.

Read last week’s Milwaukee Biz Blog by Nygren: ‘Time to rethink Wisconsin Technical College System.’

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BizTimes Bubbler Executive of the Week: Lori Mendelsohn Thomas
July 17, 2014 09:25 AM

Lori Mendelsohn Thomas, owner of Wisconsin Pet Care LLC and Wisconsin Poop Cleanup
Company address: 1012 S. 4th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53204
Website: and
Industry: Service-animals and pets
Number of employees: 28
Family: Husband, Wes Thomas, and three four-legged family members: Jackson, Bit and Rocket Ship

What inspired you to launch your own pet care business?
“My love of animals and my desire to make them feel comfortable, loved and safe at home. There is a need for top-shelf care with attention to detail, offering lots of communication by professionally-trained and knowledgeable caregivers.”

What kinds of services do you offer?
“Dog walking, vacation pet sitting, cat sitting, trips to the vet and groomer.”

What kinds of pets do you serve?
“Dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, birds, snakes, ferrets, dragons and the occasional fish and turtle.”

How many pets are in your care?
“We have over 1,200 clients with an average of two animals or more per household. Safely speaking, over 5,000 pets. Ideally, we would like to focus just on daily dog walking for busy pet owners.”

How competitive of an industry is pet sitting in southeastern Wisconsin?
“It’s competitive but not cutthroat. Many of us are friendly competitors. When we are full or unable to help a new client, we refer to each other from our network. It’s all about caring for the animals and their wellbeing. Oddly, we don’t see other pet sitting businesses as competitors. Our competitors are neighbors and friends caring for animals.”

What sets your business apart from your competitors?
“Our premier care by amazing caregivers who are all Pet First Aid and CPR certified, our quick communication with our clients, and the attention to every detail imaginable. We ask questions that most people would never think to ask. For example, what does a normal stool look like, is your animal weather sensitive, fear aggressive, just to name a few. My staff is comprised of people from the pet field, not just people who love pets. That is an unspoken prerequisite. They come from training and behavioral backgrounds; from the veterinary field, including professionals such as vet assistants and vet techs; and from the doggie day care arena as handlers, managers and trainers. I also do a pre-interview screening with a 180-question personal profile to test their level of integrity, honesty and work ethic. If they pass this initial test, then we interview them and conduct a criminal background check. I hire a ratio of one to 35 applicants. We then have them shadow three of our present walkers and see if the fit is there on both ends. We look to hire long term as the sitters develop strong bonds with the animals under their care.

Because of this, we have won every major award in the state of Wisconsin-Angie’s List Superservice Award 2012 and 2013, WISN Best of Milwaukee 2012 and 2013 for best pet sitting and dog walking category, and NAPPS Business of the Year-First Runner Up 2012, (National Award) and NAPPS Presents 4 Pets National Award for fundraising in our community!

“We also give back to the community who supports us. We donate to The Wisconsin Humane Society, HAWS and Elmbrook Humane Society. We either sponsor events or hold fundraisers/foodraisers called “Stuff That Subaru,” “Fill That Ford” or “Cram That Caddy,” where we partner with local car dealerships and fill automobiles with food, toys, treats and other items that the shelters are seeking.”

What’s new at your business?
“Our continuing education classes offered to our entire team. We do four annually. They include: ‘How to Read Animal Body Language,’ ‘How to WALK a dog safely,’ ‘Sitter Safety,’ ‘How to Do a Meet and Greet,’ and ‘Client Services.’ We believe you can never stop learning.”

What will be your main challenges in the coming year?
“As we grow, it will be finding the very best employees with outstanding pet backgrounds. I believe that selection and retention are always the main challenge of any business who has employees.”

Do you have a business mantra?
“We do. Basically, always do the right thing, but we run the business and evaluate the team by our core values:
1. Deliver nothing short of Amazing
2. Engage in Positive Relationships
3. Be receptive and Humble
4. Do everything with Kindness
5. Demonstrate Integrity
6. Show Compassion”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
“Apple. Cutting edge, loyal customers, amazing products.”

What was the best advice you ever received?
“Hire slowly, fire quickly.”

What’s the funniest thing that ever happened to you in your career?
“I was doing a meet and greet with a new family. The wife told me her husband would be there to welcome me and she would be there 15 minutes later. When I got there, a man dressed in drag opened the door. I was completely thrown off. If they had told me that he was undergoing gender reassignment, it would have been fine, but I was blindsided!”

What do you like to do in your free time?
“Right now, that’s nonexistent, but my husband and I do animal rescue transport and I love to go to rummage, estate sales and flea markets. We also spend lots of time walking and going to the dog park with our three rescued Standard Poodles. Free time might be an option when we retire! My clients can attest to my emailing them at 4:45 a.m.!”

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Hot Bubbler Books
July 17, 2014 09:33 AM
Five bestselling business books you should read:

1. “Build for Change,” by Alan Trefler
2. “Second Machine Age,” by Andrew McAfee and Erik Brynjolfsson
3. “Six Simple Rules,” by Yves Morieux and Peter Tollman
4. “Thrive,” by Arianna Huffington
5. “Things a Little Bird Told Me,” by Biz Stone

Courtesy of 800-CEO-READ.

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Bubbler Calendar
July 17, 2014 09:35 AM

*Friday, July 18, through Sunday, July 20, Festa Italiana comes to Milwaukee’s lakefront with Italian food, wine and entertainment. Along with a “Business Bocce Bash” and a Festa Parade, the festival will feature a Futsal Tournament, a children’s stage and live music. The festival will run from 11:30 a.m. to midnight on Friday and Saturday and from 11:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sunday. Advance tickets cost $17 and must be purchased by the end of today. Admission is $13 at the gate and $25 for a three-day pass. Children who are age 12 and under and accompanied by an adult receive complimentary festival admission. Special admission deals and promotions are available as well. The festival will be held at the Henry W. Maier Festival Park. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit

*Friday, July 18, Newaukee will welcome The Young Revelators and Poizon Ivy to the stage during its Koss Lunar Series on the Milwaukee Athletic Club Rooftop. The weekly music series, which Newaukee presents in partnership with the Koss Corporation, features live music, a DJ, food and beverage service. The series, free for Newaukee members, runs every Friday evening from 6 to 11 p.m. through Sept. 5. Attendees should plan to dress in business casual attire. The Milwaukee Athletic Club is located at 758 N. Broadway St. in Milwaukee. For more information on the Koss Lunar Series and its music lineup, visit

*Saturday, July 19, BIZremedies will hold a rooftop networking event at the Milwaukee Athletic Club, located at 758 N. Broadway St. in Milwaukee. The event will include live music by Keith Pulvermacher, lakefront fireworks and time for networking. The event, which is scheduled for 6:30 to 11 p.m., is free to attendees who log in and create an account on For more information, email

*Monday, July 21, through Wednesday, July 23, the Milwaukee Brewers take on the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park, located at 1 Brewers Way in Milwaukee. Games on Monday and Tuesday are scheduled for 7:10 p.m., and Wednesday’s game will begin at 1:10 p.m. The Brewers will spend the rest of the week playing home games against the New York Mets. They will challenge the Mets at 7:10 p.m. on Thursday, July 24, and Friday July 25, and will play at 6:10 p.m. on Saturday, July 26, and at 1:10 p.m. on Sunday, July 27. Tickets can be purchased at

*Friday, July 25, the Waukesha County Business Alliance will present its monthly “One-on-One with Your Public Official” information session. The free and informal sessions give area business executives, employees and residents an opportunity to sit down with Waukesha County public officials for coffee and a dialogue. This month’s event will feature a candidate forum with candidates for the Waukesha County Sheriff: Eric Severson and Tom Alioto. The event will run from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the Waukesha County Business Alliance, located at 2717 N. Grandview Blvd., Suite 300, in Waukesha. For more information or to register, visit

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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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