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Thursday, February 26, 2015
United Way announces campaign co-chairs, expands board of directors
February 26, 2015 11:05 AM
United Way of Greater Milwaukee & Waukesha County on Wednesday announced four co-chairs for its 2015-16 Community Campaign.

The nonprofit organization officially consolidated operations between United Way of Greater Milwaukee and United Way in Waukesha County at the start of February. Through the merger, which was announced in December, United Way aims to enhance its efficiency in order to have a more meaningful impact on the programs it supports.

This year’s community campaign will be led by Catherine Jacobs, president and chief executive officer of Froedtert Health; Suzanne Kelley, president of the Waukesha County Business Alliance; Alex Molinaroli, chairman, president and CEO of Johnson Controls, Inc.; and Cory Nettles, managing director of Generation Growth Capital, Inc.

Chairs were named publicly during United Way’s annual meeting, held Wednesday at the U.S. Bank Building.

“I am honored to serve as a co-chair for the first combined campaign of the United Way of Greater Milwaukee and Waukesha County,” Jacobs said in an announcement. “This is an exciting time to be able to participate in this collaboration to strengthen the impact United Way has so long demonstrated in our community.”

“United Way does an outstanding job of raising critically needed funds to support our community’s most impactful agencies,” Nettles said. “We now have an opportunity to even better serve our community in a more coordinated way.”

United Way also introduced 15 new board members during its annual meeting. The new pool of members will better reflect the organization’s dual focus on Milwaukee and Waukesha counties.

Board members who will serve three-year terms are: Travis Andersen, president and CEO, Columbia St. Mary’s; Larry Blanton, senior vice president of MetalTek International and general manager of its Wisconsin Centrifugal Division; Darienne Driver, Ed.D., superintendent of schools, Milwaukee Public Schools; Michael Erwin, CEO, Tailored Label Products, Inc.; David Gilmartin, global director, Commercial Insights, Commercial Excellence, GE Healthcare; Jay Magulski, president & CEO, Landmark Credit Union; Jeff Mazzoni, vice president and CFO GE Healthcare Americas; Austin Ramirez, president & CEO, HUSCO International; Thelma Sias, vice president, local affairs, We Energies; and Raymond Wilson, office managing partner, PwC.

Members who will serve a one-year term are: Linda Gorens-Levy, partner, General Capital Group; Christine Liu McLaughlin, shareholder, Godfrey & Kahn, S.C.; Nick W. Turkal, M.D., president and CEO, Aurora Health Care; Aimee  Wiedmeyer, director, Go To Market Strategy & Planning, Harley-Davidson Motor Company Inc.; and Gregory Wesley, partner, Gonzalez Saggio & Harlan LLP.

Incumbent members who will serve another three-year term are: Mark Irgens, CEO/president & manager, Irgens; Bruce McDonald, executive vice president and vice chairman, Johnson Controls, Inc.; Cory Nettles, managing director, Generation Growth Capital; Gregory C. Oberland, president, Northwestern Mutual; and John R. Raymond, Sr., MD, president & CEO, Medical College of Wisconsin.

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Wine and paint studio coming to Elm Grove
February 26, 2015 11:09 AM
A wine and paint studio is among the newest businesses opening in the heart of Elm Grove.

Headed by entrepreneurs, friends and business partners Katy Oberst and Danielle Heckenkamp, Elm Grove Art, LLC will likely open in mid-April.

The two entrepreneurs have collaborated professionally in the past with their first published book, “Provocative Manners: The Sauce of Life.”

Their latest venture will feature art classes for both adults and kids. Evening classes on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays will welcome adults for painting and socializing while enjoying drinks from the bar. Daytime classes will be geared towards kids.

“There will be something for everyone at the studio,” Heckenkamp,, co-owner, said.

The studio will also act as an event venue that community members can rent for birthday parties, bridal showers, baby showers, bachelorette parties, nonprofits events and other get-togethers.

The studio will be located at 12970 W. Bluemound Rd. Suite 105 in Elm Grove.

“Elm Grove is such a family area that we feel it fits our business really well,” Heckenkamp said, noting that she and Oberst aim to draw visitors from across the region in addition to village locals.

A website for the new venue is currently under construction.

“We know that…everyone likes to enjoy a little bit of wine and beer and it helps people let loose a little bit and people who aren’t artists and who want to be artists can be artists for half a day (at the studio),” Heckenkamp said.

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Carroll receives $50,000 gift from the Hearst Foundations
February 26, 2015 11:11 AM
Waukesha-based Carroll University recently received a $50,000 gift from the Hearst Foundations to help fund scholarships for students in its Academic Success Program in Nursing (ASPIN).

“This gift from the Hearst Foundations is important to the future success of students in our ASPIN program. It propels them in their educational endeavors at Carroll, and secures their future with a promising career,” said Doug Hastad, president of Carroll University.

In addition to scholarships, ASPIN provides academic support services to students from medically underserved areas in Milwaukee and Waukesha enrolled in Carroll’s nursing program.

According to the Health Resources and Services Administration in Wisconsin, there are currently 102 primary medical care health professional shortage areas, 68 medically underserved areas and five medically underserved populations in the state.

“Our college is grateful for this grant, as it allows us to continue to educate and graduate a dynamic group of students who are competent and able to deliver high quality health care in the field,” said Jane Hopp, dean of the College of Natural Sciences and Health Sciences at Carroll University. “The need for more nurses with the knowledge and expertise to improve patient outcomes in our state is critical, and I’m glad Carroll is able to help meet the health care needs of the population.”

Carroll’s Bachelor of Science in Nursing program ranked No. 1 in the state in the 2014 Annual NCLEX Pass Report from the Wisconsin Department of Safety and Professional Services’ board of nursing. The data shows that 95 percent of the university’s nursing graduates pass the National Council Licensure Examination the first time they take the test.

The Hearst Foundations are national philanthropic resources for organizations working in the fields of culture, education, health and social services. Since inception, the foundations have made over 19,000 grants totaling more than $925 million.

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WCTC partners with Ottawa University to offer low-cost bachelor’s degrees
February 26, 2015 11:14 AM
Waukesha County Technical College has announced it has partnered with Ottawa University to offer a bachelor’s degree program for adult learners that costs less than $20,000.

Ottawa, Kan.-based Ottawa University expanded into the Milwaukee area in 1994 with a location in Brookfield. Students in the new “education pathway” would begin at Pewaukee-based WCTC and then enroll at Ottawa to complete a bachelor’s degree.

WCTC students will be eligible for an 80-credit transfer at Ottawa, which equates to an associate degree. Another 44 upper division credit hours could be completed at Ottawa’s Brookfield campus or online to achieve a bachelor’s degree.

The pathway will be made available to first-time student transfers who are consecutively enrolled, in conjunction with an OU Transfer Advantage Scholarship. Between the scholarship and the WCTC tuition, the total cost of a bachelor’s degree would be less than $20,000. Students would have access to an academic advisor to execute the plan.

“WCTC is committed to providing our students with seamless credit transfer to premier partner institutions like Ottawa University,” said Denine Rood, vice president of learning at WCTC. “These agreements help students avoid taking duplicate classes and spending money they can’t afford to spend. We are pleased that this particular agreement also offers a tuition reduction in the form of a scholarship to those who take advantage of this opportunity.”

“This partnership reflects our mission of bringing meaningful education opportunities to adult learners,” said Kevin Eichner, president of Ottawa University. “It’s an innovative approach to giving adult learners access to important, fulfilling education. And it reflects the respect we have for the education Waukesha County Technical College offers.”

WCTC also recently signed a transfer agreement with the University of Wisconsin-Waukesha to allow WCTC associate of applied science graduates in 25 programs to transfer to the UW Colleges bachelor of applied arts and sciences degree completion program at UW-Waukesha.

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Brewers put ‘Arctic Tailgate’ on ice
February 26, 2015 11:16 AM
With frigid overnight temperatures expected for Thursday and Friday, the Brewers announced that nightly camping for Saturday’s “Arctic Tailgate” will not be permitted.

The earliest that fans will be allowed to arrive for the event will be 5 a.m. on Saturday morning.

Forecasters are calling for overnight temperatures below zero degrees Thursday and Friday.

The “Arctic Tailgate” event marks the beginning of individual ticket sales for 2015 Brewers home games. Participants were originally going to be allowed to arrive at noon on Thursday, and historically fans have camped over Thursday and Friday nights on the Miller Park Plaza area for the opportunity to secure tickets.  
“This event is a tradition for many of our fans, but conditions are going to be too dangerous to be in the elements for extended exposure,” said Brewers chief operating officer Rick Schlesinger. “We simply do not want to put anyone’s personal health at risk with the expected conditions.”
The revised plan calls for gates to the parking lots to open at 5 a.m. on Saturday. The Box Office will open at 9 a.m. for the beginning of individual game ticket sales.
The first 2,000 fans in line will receive a hot dog and soda, compliments of Klement’s, Pepsi and Sportservice, as well as an Arctic Tailgate t-shirt. In addition, Grebe’s Bakery will supply fans with doughnuts.

In addition to the Miller Park Ticket Office, fans will be able to buy tickets and parking at or by phone at (414) 902-4000. The Miller Park Ticket Office will be open until 5 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 28.

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Viets to retire from MSOE in June
February 26, 2015 11:18 AM
After a 24-year run, Milwaukee School of Engineering president Hermann Viets, Ph.D., has announced plans to retire on June 30.

Viets, the fourth president of the 112-year-old institution, is credited for guiding the dramatic expansion of the school’s academic offerings and downtown campus throughout his tenure.

“MSOE’s national academic reputation has grown under the steadfast leadership of Hermann Viets,” Scott Moon, chairman of the MSOE Board of Regents, said in a statement. “His vision has kept MSOE firmly on the path for success and students choose to attend the university because they know they’ll achieve success in their careers upon graduation.”

Under Viets’ leadership, MSOE introduced a variety of Bachelor of Science degree programs, including actuarial science, construction management, nursing, operations research and software engineering. The school also rolled out several new Master of Science degree pathways, such as perfusion, construction and business management, nursing, an MBA program, MBA in education leadership, and MBA in STEM leadership.

Additionally, Viets oversaw the development of several undergraduate international study-abroad programs, a baccalaureate two-degree program, a freshman-to-master’s degree in civil engineering, and the state’s only Bachelor of Science degree in biomolecular engineering.

The president is also credited for ramping up STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – education in Wisconsin by partnering with Robert Kern, MSOE Regent and retired chairman of General Power Systems as well as the Kern Family Foundation to implement Project Lead The Way in the state. The national program gives K-12 students exposure to STEM fields and career opportunities. MSOE serves as the National Affiliate University for Wisconsin’ PLTW programs.

Viets’ presidency also saw the launch of MSOE’s Center for Entrepreneurship, which supports entrepreneurial ventures and innovation across all fields and disciplines, and the opening of the Grohmann Museum, made possible by a donation of funds and paintings from MSOE Regent Eckhart Grohmann.

Among Viets’ other academic accomplishments on campus is the establishment of the Rader School of Business and MSOE School of Nursing as well as the growth of MSOE’s footprint. The campus now encompasses 20 acres with the development of several academic and athletic facilities, including Krueger Hall, Rosenberg Hall, Humprhrey House, the Kern Center, the Grohmann Museum, Pamela and Hermann Viets Field, and the Grohmann Tower student apartment building, among other campus sites.

Viets made his retirement plans known to the MSOE Board of Regents last July, according to the university. The search for a new president is currently being spearheaded by a search committee overseen by Moon.

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Milwaukee law firm opens third location, expands legal team
February 26, 2015 11:20 AM
Hansen Reynolds Dickinson Creuger LLC, a Milwaukee-based law firm that handles cases for corporate plaintiffs and defendants, has opened an office just outside Madison as well as expanded its team with four new litigators.

The firm, which was established in Milwaukee in 2011 and opened its second office in Chicago a year ago, now has three locations.

The firm has grown from four founding partners to 19 attorneys across its three offices.

HRDC’s newest location is at 7600 Terrace Ave., Suite 201, in Middleton, Wis. and will be operated by two attorneys with Jessica Mederson serving as managing partner.

“The Madison market is important to us because of its unique intersection of private industry, university innovation and state government,” Mederson said in a press release.

Mederson has been with HRDC since 2011 and has an array of litigation experience including having tended to securities issues, director and officer liability, construction defect, breach of contract and intellectual property disputes. Prior to joining the firm, she worked as an attorney for Vinson & Elkins LLP in Austin, Texas, where she handled commercial litigation in state and federal court.

Sarah Troupis Ferguson, who recently became part of the firm as Of Counsel, will also staff the Middleton office. Ferguson comes from Troupis Law Office, a boutique law firm located in Madison, and has served clients in intellectual property disputes, employment issues, contract disputes and real estate litigation, among other legal matters.

Additionally, HRDC has bolstered its Milwaukee team with Marlee Jansen, an attorney well versed in patent litigation, and John Busch and David Mungenast, who have both joined as Of Counsel.

Busch brings 38 years of legal experience from Milwaukee-based Michael Best & Friedrich LLP. His legal career has included serving as lead counsel in more than 20 jury trials.

Mungenast is among the first Americans to have studied and taught law in China and, with this experience, will enhance HRDC’s China practice.

“We’re attracting some of the region’s best and most experienced attorneys who share our vision for providing top-notch litigation services from a lower overhead platform,” said Thomas Reynolds II, managing partner of the firm.

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Milwaukee Biz Blog: A primer on 529 college savings plan updates
February 26, 2015 11:22 AM
In 2014, Wisconsin's Legislature modified Wisconsin's 529 college savings plans EdVest and TOMORROW'S SCHOLAR.

Brooke Napiwocki, a wealth advisor at Bronfman E.L. Rothschild in Milwaukee, gives an overview of the changes that are effective for the 2014 tax year in Wednesday’s Milwaukee Biz Blog.

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Bubbler Quote of the Week
February 26, 2015 11:24 AM

“We’ll see more change in the next 10 years than we’ve seen in the previous 50 years. The Internet of Things and the connectivity is really going to allow a shift in the way people do business.”
~David Vasko, director of Advanced Technology Milwaukee Labs at Rockwell Automation Inc.   
Read more in BizTimes Milwaukee’s new cover story by Molly Dill: The Internet of Things: Milwaukee firms create smart products for new age.

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BizTimes Bubbler Executive of the Week: William Komisar
February 26, 2015 11:26 AM

William Komisar, partner at Komisar Brady & Co., LLP
Address: 135 S 84th Street, Suite 200, Milwaukee
Industry: Accounting
Employees: 50
Family: Wife, Becky; children, Joseph, Mari and Jared

What was the smartest thing Komisar Brady & Co. did in the past year?
“We promoted Dan Glomski to partner! He truly embodies the firm’s client service philosophy, and he has been a key to the firm’s growth in consulting and valuation services, as well as serving the manufacturing and professional services industries.”

What’s new at your company?
“The last few months have been quite busy. We joined M-WERC, the Mid-West Energy Research Consortium, and we are looking forward to continuing to support the advancement of the energy, power and control industries and sharing our expertise. We merged with Lindemeyer & Associates, a Brookfield accounting firm, and our Brookfield office moved to their location on Executive Drive by Brookfield Square (our primary office is still in Milwaukee on 84th Street). And we made some internal changes, such as adopting a casual dress code and more flexible hour requirements for tax season.”  

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year?
“We will certainly be adding staff over the next year – specifically as our audit services continue to grow in demand and a number of specialty areas continue to develop. We will continue to invest in our people and development of their expertise, as well as technology to gain additional efficiencies and security.”

How does Komisar Brady distinguish itself in the marketplace?
“Komisar Brady is known for our technical expertise and commitment to quality work. We have this reputation because we recognize that we work with people. Forming those relationships, understanding each client’s goals, and holding ourselves to high standards of service is extremely important because we know we can make a positive impact on the success of our clients, both businesses and individuals alike.”

What will be your company’s main challenges in the next year?
“The Affordable Care Act, new revenue recognition accounting standards, and ongoing tax changes result in a number of new initiatives to assist clients. Keeping our clients ahead of the curve and well-informed will be extremely important and part of our ongoing efforts to minimize their tax exposure and grow their bottom line.”

From your expertise, how strong is the accounting industry, particularly here in southeastern Wisconsin?
“The accounting industry in southeastern Wisconsin is quite strong and continues to evolve. Southeastern Wisconsin also has a number of well-developed degree programs at universities in the area that supply excellent recruits, which makes for a bright future for our profession. If you take a close look, you’ll see quite a bit of merger and acquisition activity taking place not only here, but nationwide. It is a highly competitive field, particularly in this area, and firms are making strategic moves to gain not only market share but also expertise. Our firm is in a unique position in the southeastern Wisconsin accounting industry as we are able to provide clients a high level of technical expertise and personal service.”

Do you have a business mantra?
“Clients first.”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
“I have always looked up to my father and uncle. As the founders of Komisar Brady & Co., they have really been role models to me for their work ethic and ability to relate to people.”

What was the best advice you ever received?
“Be honest and truthful to yourself.”

What do you like to do in your free time?
“Spend time with my family, attend Badger sporting events, and travel.”

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BizTimes Around Town: The Business of Sports
February 26, 2015 11:28 AM
The Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce’s Council of Small Business Executives featured Milwaukee Bucks president Peter Feigin at its latest Roundtable Program. During the event, held Feb. 4 at the Milwaukee Athletic Club, Feigin addressed several issues facing the Bucks. BizTimes Media served as an event sponsor.

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.

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