Southeastern Wisconsin business people make it happen.
Thursday, April 23, 2015
Borst transitions from dean to entrepreneur with launch of business lines
April 23, 2015 10:54 AM
After close to 18 years of guiding business students through Concordia University Wisconsin’s School of Business Administration, David Borst has launched his own cluster of businesses under Borst: The Brand.

Borst announced his exit from the role of dean of CUW’s business school in January with plans to lead the newly established Family Business Legacy Institute as its executive director and chief operating officer.

He is now also building six business ventures under his new brand, among them a fashion line of pocket squares.

“When a man dresses up, he needs a dignity all his own, and that is what I am trying to create with my squares,” Borst said.

Borst has partnered with local retail and consumer merchandise company Ontal to produce his pocket squares, which are sold under his brand name. Squares are available in a range of colors and patterns to accommodate different tastes, seasons and occasions.

The squares, whose material is stain resistant, sell for $25 at Borst also aims to sell them in retail stores as he continues to develop his brand.

Borst’s other businesses include a ram school and an international student recruitment service. He also hosts the Saturday afternoon “It’s Academic” program on WTMJ.

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Laughlin to share insights about keys to success in service industries
April 23, 2015 10:56 AM
Steve Laughlin, co-founder and chief executive officer of Laughlin Constable, will share insights about innovations in business and the importance of being flexible with technology at the 11th annual BizExpo.

Laughlin will be the recipient of the 2015 BizTimes Lifetime Achievement Award at the Bravo! Entrepreneur and I.Q. Awards Luncheon to be held at the BizExpo on Wednesday, May 20, at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino Expo Center in Milwaukee.

In a career that has spanned 40 years, Laughlin has built the Milwaukee-based creative and advertising agency, which has expanded to have offices in Chicago, New York and New Jersey, employing more than 250 people.

In his keynote address at the luncheon, Laughlin will share his insights about the keys to success for service providers. He also will discuss how an executive’s personal life and professional life are intertwined.

Laughlin Constable’s prestigious list of clients has included Bon-Ton Stores, Wisconsin Tourism, Palermo’s Pizza, GE Healthcare, CUNA Mutual, Northwestern Medicine, MillerCoors, Master Lock, Sears, Sargento Cheese, Hillshire Farm, Firestone, Alka-Seltzer Plus Cold Medicine, Kraft, OshKosh B’Gosh, Fruit of the Loom and many others.

Laughlin is a recipient of the American Advertising Federation’s Lifetime Achievement Award and has been inducted into the Wisconsin Advertising Hall of Fame. He is a member of the Greater Milwaukee Committee and has served on the boards of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design, is a past board chair and MVP honoree of the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee, board chair of the Milwaukee Film Festival and past board chair of the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts.

Laughlin joins an illustrious list of past recipients of the award, including: Gary Grunau, real estate developer and president of Grucon Group LLC; Michael Cudahy, founder of Marquette Electronics and philanthropist; Sheldon Lubar, founder and chairman of Lubar & Co. in Milwaukee; Fritz and Debra Usinger of Usinger’s Famous Sausage; Richard Pieper Sr., chairman of PPC Partners Inc.; Stephen Marcus, former CEO of The Marcus Corp.; George Dalton, former CEO of Fiserv Inc.; Robert Kern, former CEO of Generac; Joe Zilber, former CEO of Towne Realty; and Harry Quadracci, former CEO of Quad/Graphics Inc.

To register to attend, or to nominate a dynamic company leader or an innovative company for the Bravo! Entrepreneur or I.Q. (Innovation Quotient) Awards, visit

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COSBE accepts nominations for Future 50 Awards
April 23, 2015 10:59 AM
The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce's Council of Small Business Executives is accepting nominations for its Future 50 Awards.

The program was founded 27 years ago to annually recognize achievements of local, fast-growing entrepreneurs. Winning companies must be privately owned, located in the seven-county region, have been in business for at least three years and have shown significant revenue and employment growth.

The winning companies will be honored at the annual Future 50 Luncheon on Thursday, Sept. 10, at the Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee. The winners also will be profiled in a special section of BizTimes Milwaukee.

Firms can apply online at Or if you know of a company that should be considered, submit that company and MMAC will do all the follow-up at

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Milwaukee joins National Innovation Network
April 23, 2015 11:03 AM
Five academic institutions in Milwaukee are joining forces to form a local site of the National Innovation Network that will recruit and train 90 entrepreneurial teams over the next three years. With training, the teams will conduct deep research into their chances of starting a viable business or find new pathways to market.

The effort, funded by a $300,000 National Science Foundation Innovation-Corps (NSF I-Corps) grant, brings together academic researchers, graduate students and business networks to grow the local economy through research-generated ideas that are honed in collaboration with industry.

Led by the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, the site’s partners are Marquette University, the Medical College of Wisconsin (MCW), the Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) and Concordia University of Wisconsin.

“Through this site, we’re able to bring the proven I-Corps model of commercializing innovation to Milwaukee, where academia already works closely with the private sector,” said Brian Thompson, president of the UWM Research Foundation. “This will be a powerful complement to our city’s evolving entrepreneurial ecosystem.”

Accepted teams will be guided through a Lean LaunchPad program, which will lead them in customer discovery, find them mentors and link them to sources of early-stage funding. The teams will make a decision about whether to proceed to market within six months of completing the program.

Each team in the I-Corps program will consist of an academic lead (a faculty member or a post-doctoral student), an entrepreneurial lead (typically a graduate student) and a mentor with business experience.

Cohorts will consist of 10 teams that convene three times per year for three years. Each team will receive a mini-grant to use on their endeavor and access to the facilities and collaborators provided by the sites’ academic members.

Milwaukee-area resources enhancing the site include the Mid-West Energy Research Consortium, the Water Equipment & Policy Center at UWM and Marquette, the Global Water Center, the drug-discovery consortium Bridge-to-Cures, and the Clinical & Translational Science Institute of Southeast Wisconsin, funded by the National Institutes of Health and administered by MCW.

The UWM Research Foundation will help coordinate the network and supporting curriculum.

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MU buys Herzing University building downtown
April 23, 2015 11:06 AM
Marquette University continues to acquire real estate on the west side of downtown Milwaukee. The university recently purchased the Herzing University building, located at 525 N. 6th St., for $1.465 million, according to state records.

The two-story, 19,779-square-foot building was built in 1967 and has an assessed value of $1.282 million, according to city records.

The property was sold to Marquette by Menomonee Falls-based S&R Property LLC. The agent for S&R is Henry Herzing.

This is just the latest real estate acquisition by MU on the west side of downtown Milwaukee.

Last fall, MU purchased a 7.5-acre site southeast of West Michigan Street and I-43. The site includes two buildings, a 132,334-square-foot office building and a 7,200-square-foot building, sold by Zilber Property Group for $5.25 million. MU also announced plans to acquire a 4.6-acre site from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation.

MU recently purchased the 5,046-square-foot Butch’s Old Casino Steak House building at 555 N. James Lovell St. for $690,000.

Marquette plans to build a sports medicine/health and wellness facility, which will be a collaborative partnership between the Milwaukee Bucks and the university, on the sites acquired from Zilber, WisDOT and Butch’s.

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Pet businesses taking precautions against dog flu
April 23, 2015 11:09 AM
The dog flu virus has infected more than 1,000 dogs in the last month and is responsible for six dog deaths in Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio and Indiana, according to reports.

Although no incidents have been reported in the Milwaukee area so far, area pet sitting services are being impacted either through loss of business or by taking extra precautions.

Bay View-based While You Were Out Pet Sitting Services LLC, for instance, has had a couple day care dogs take the month off, according to owner/operator Tiffany Weber.

“Right now vets are asking people to not take their dogs to day care,” Weber said.

Meanwhile, Weber said staff is keeping a close eye on any symptoms like sneezing and coughing, and will not allow any dogs who may be infected.

Her pet sitters are also changing their clothing in between pet home visits and washing bed sheets more frequently. Dogs staying at While You Were Out’s facility do not stay in kennels, but rather sleep in bed with staff overnight.

Milwaukee-based Brew City Pet Services LLC has not temporarily lost any clients due to the dog flu, but it is also taking extra precautions, according to owner Stephanie Lefever.

For instance, employees are avoiding dog parks, sanitizing shared leashes, and washing their hands more regularly as they would with any other flu.

Delavan-based Lollipups Pet Resort said business is also operating as usual, but it is exercising more caution when accepting new dogs.

“So far we’ve been immune to any of that (cases of the dog flu) so far, and we will be very, very selective with our dogs coming and going and very sensitive to it to make sure it doesn’t ever happen in or around this facility,” said owner Dana Montana.

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2015 WisconsinBiz: 'People Make The Difference'
April 23, 2015 11:11 AM
BizTimes Media LLC on Monday published the 2015 edition of WisconsinBiz, the annual publication that promotes Wisconsin as a place to grow or move a business.

"People Make The Difference" is the theme of this year's supplement, which chronicles the human, financial and organizational resources that make Wisconsin a special place to do business.

To view a digital edition of the annual magazine, click here.

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Bubbler Quote of the Week
April 23, 2015 11:13 AM

“The health care industry is totally reshaping itself. There’s a premium on innovation.”
~Rob Reilly, chief marketing officer for GE Healthcare  
Read more in BizTimes Milwaukee’s new cover story by Hilary Dickinson: Exporting Wisconsin: Medical device companies thrive.

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BizTimes Bubbler Executive of the Week: Paul Eberle
April 23, 2015 11:16 AM

Paul Eberle, chief executive of Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C.
Address: 555 E. Wells St., Milwaukee
Industry: Legal
Employees: 300

What was the smartest thing Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C. did in the past year?
“We recently completed a cultural audit that will help us improve our hiring, professional development and retention efforts. We have more work to do, but an honest assessment of our strengths and challenges is a great place to start.”  

What’s new at your firm?
“We are opening a new office in Waukesha County.  Tim Nettesheim and Don Gallo recently joined our firm and they will be opening the new office with a number of attorneys from our existing offices. We continue to attract great lawyers to our Milwaukee, Madison and Chicago offices as well.”

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your firm in the next year?
“We continue to actively hire new lawyers from great law schools and talented attorneys from other firms. Our capital investments continue to be significant, primarily in the information technology areas.”

What will be Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C.’s main challenges in the next year?
“We've had a lot of success attracting great talent. We want to make sure that everyone who joins our firm is successful, finds professional fulfillment, and has success in helping our clients succeed. Professional development, retention and growth are a real focus for us.”

How competitive is the legal industry in southeastern Wisconsin? How does Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C. stand out against competing firms in this market?
“We have a great team of corporate and litigation attorneys who are dedicated to solving our clients’ problems. Clients choose us because we effectively and efficiently solve their problems. We are continuing to invest in areas that increase our efficiency, using tools like Legal Project Management to differentiate ourselves from other legal service providers.”

How optimistic are you about the future of the legal field, particularly here in southeastern Wisconsin?
“It’s a very exciting time for anyone providing legal services. The business model is changing, competition is increasing and clients are demanding more. Some firms will not be around in five years; others will be thriving. I’m very optimistic that WHD will continue to listen to our clients, adapt to deliver outstanding legal services more efficiently, and thrive in the years ahead. We are very competitive and like to win.”

Do you have a business mantra?
“Put people in a position to use their best talents – great things happen when people actually do the things they are best at doing.”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?  
“My dad taught me a lot about integrity and hard work. I think about him a lot. I look up to leaders who make the people and the world around them better.”

What is the most significant lesson you have learned during your career?
“Treating people with honesty and integrity always pays off – maybe now, maybe later – but it always leads to something good.”

What do you like to do in your free time?
“I like to spend time with my family. We have a busy house with kids going many different directions.”

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Hot Bubbler Books
April 23, 2015 11:18 AM
Five bestselling business books you should read:

1. “Do the Kind Thing,” by Daniel Lubetzky
2. “Data Driven,” by Jenny Dearborn
3. “Force for Good,” by John Taft
4. “Jim Cramer’s Get Rich Carefully,” by James Cramer
5. “Homemakers,” by Brit Morin

Courtesy of

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Bubbler Calendar
April 23, 2015 11:20 AM

*Thursday, April 23, FUEL Milwaukee will hold a Purely Social @ The Box MKE, a recently renovated downtown venue located at 311 E. Wisconsin Ave. The event is part of FUEL’s Purely Social series, which feature regular networking events that are free and open to the public. The April event will include complimentary appetizers, drink specials and networking activities and will run from 6 to 9 p.m. For more information or to register, click here.

*Friday, April 24, the Waukesha County Business Alliance will hold a “One-on-One with Public Officials” meeting. The event is part of a free monthly series that allows community members to sit down and talk to area officials over coffee. This month’s event will be headlined by Waukesha County District Attorney Susan Opper. The meeting will run from 7:30 to 8:30 a.m. at the Waukesha County Business Alliance’s offices, located at 2717 N. Grandview Blvd., Suite 200, in Waukesha. For more information or to register, click here. Attendees who are not alliance members should register by calling the alliance at 262-542-4249.

*Saturday, April 25, Concordia University Wisconsin will host an education career fair at its Center for Environmental Stewardship. The fair will cater to certified teaching and administrative positions, including licensed literacy teachers, school administrators and school counselors. Representatives from area school districts will be present. The fair will run from 10 a.m. to noon. Concordia University Wisconsin is located at 12800 Lake Shore Drive in Mequon. For more information, contact Krista Oldenburg of Career Services at 262-243-4340 or visit

*Thursday, April 30, BizTimes Media and ActionCOACH of Elm Grove will present a workshop on “Leadership: Building Your Dream Team” as part of the Next Stage Workshop Series. The session will feature a keynote address, a panel discussion and an interactive workshop component, all focused on how business owners and executives can develop a quality team that will be able to support their vision. Deanna Tillisch, president and chief executive officer of the United Performing Arts Fund, will give the keynote address. The event will run from 7:30 to 9:30 a.m. at Sheraton Hotel, located at 375 S. Moorland Rd. in Brookfield. Cost is $30 for individuals and $240 for a corporate table of eight. For more information or to register, visit

*Friday, May 1, the Greater Brookfield Chamber of Commerce will present a workshop on “Navigating Organizational Chaos.” The event will feature a presentation by Jeff Boss, a Navy SEAL, leadership coach, trainer, writer and speaker in one. Boss will discuss his experiences as a Navy Seal, how special operations managed organizational chaos and how businesses can effectively manage their own organizational chaos. The breakfast event will run from 7 to 9 a.m. at The Sheraton Milwaukee Brookfield, located at 375 S. Moorland Rd. in Brookfield. Cost is $50 for chamber members and $75 for non-members. For more information or to register, click here.

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BizTimes Poll Question
April 23, 2015 11:23 AM
Which company should purchase the naming rights to a new arena in Milwaukee? Harley-Davidson Inc., Northwestern Mutual, Robert W. Baird or other?

Tell us by responding to the BizTimes Poll Question today.

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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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