Southeastern Wisconsin business people make it happen.
Thursday, April 30, 2015
MPS board re-elects Bonds, welcomes two new directors
April 30, 2015 10:56 AM
Michael Bonds, Ph.D., has been re-elected president of the Milwaukee Board of School Directors, the district announced on Wednesday.

Bonds’ re-election was made official Tuesday night during the board’s annual organizational meeting.

Bonds has served as president of the Board for the past six years and has been part of the board for the past eight years.

The board also elected Larry Miller to vice president. Miller, who has been a director for the past six years, will take over for Meagan Holman.

Holman opted not to pursue re-election. Carol Voss, new to the board, will take over her director role.

Wendell Harris, Sr., another new board director, is replacing director Jeff Spence.

comment »

Design North draws in third generation leadership
April 30, 2015 10:58 AM
Design North, a Racine-based company focused on branding and packaging design, has introduced third-generation leadership into its operations with Lina Sucharda, who has been appointed marketing support specialist.

Lina is the daughter of Lee Sucharda III, president of Design North, and granddaughter of company founder Lee Sucharda Jr.

In her new role, Lina will help promote Design North’s services around branding and packaging design. She brings expertise in trend forecasting, target marketing and current retail strategies.

Design North was established in 1963 and has advised a variety of brands, including Birds Eye, Harvest Stone, Snap-on, Dr. Smith’s, Dynamoo, and InSinkErator.

comment »

UWM, Milwaukee Fire Department launch paramedic training program
April 30, 2015 11:00 AM
The University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Nursing has launched a partnership to train fire department paramedics in community-based health care. The program will train paramedics to provide follow-up health care to frequent users of emergency medical services. Paramedics will receive training to support these patients and help change health behaviors before patients reach a crisis again.

The partnership, announced at a press conference on Wednesday, also involves the Milwaukee Fire Department, Milwaukee County Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and the Medical College of Wisconsin.

Last year, Milwaukee County EMS responded to 62,663 calls. Seven percent of those EMS calls-4,288-were made by a group of 100 repeat callers, according to captain Michael Wright, mobile integrated health care coordinator for the Milwaukee Fire Department. He is part of the planning team for the community-based paramedic training program.

“This program will help provide better care at lower costs,” says Kim Litwack, associate dean of the College of Nursing and a member of the planning team. “Emergency care is the most expensive care there is.”

For patients who are doing well, program treatment will help reinforce their behaviors. For those who are struggling, the follow-up can help get them back on track before their health problems become an emergency, Litwack said.

This summer, the UWM College of Nursing will collaborate with the Medical College of Wisconsin to train 30 paramedics from the Milwaukee, North Shore, West Allis, Greenfield and Madison fire departments in the “Community Paramedic Curriculum,” a community-based health care model used nationally. The curriculum will provide enhanced training on asthma and infant mortality.

The Medical College of Wisconsin and Vitas Hospice will provide clinical experience to the paramedics, and community-based paramedic training will be completed in October 2015. The community-based paramedic pilot will then be implemented in participating communities.

Community paramedics do not replace medical care for those who have primary health care providers, but they do encourage and help those without regular medical care to find it.

This will be the first trained community-based paramedic program in Wisconsin. The first community paramedic training program started in 2008 at Hennepin Technical College in Minnesota.

comment »

BBB to present Torch Awards for Ethics
April 30, 2015 11:02 AM
The Wisconsin Better Business Bureau Foundation Center for Character Ethics will present its 2015 Torch Awards for Ethics on Thursday, May 14.

The BBB’s Torch Award for Ethics is a statewide competition that honors companies and charities that do business in Wisconsin and demonstrate excellence in ethical practices, service excellence, reputation, honest advertising, peer recognition, management practices and employee training in ethical behavior.

The finalists are: 4Imprint (Oshkosh); Action Organizing Services LLC (Milwaukee); Busch Precision Inc. (Milwaukee); Harley-Davidson Motor Company (Milwaukee); Hunger Task Force (Milwaukee); Innovative Services Inc. (Green Bay); InVision Business Development & Marketing, LLC (Madison); Paul Davis Restoration & Remodeling (Milwaukee); Bruce and Jeanne Nemovitz | Realty Executives Integrity (Milwaukee); Sure-Dry Basement Systems, Inc. (Menasha); and Thrivent Financial (Appleton).

“In today’s business environment, trust and ethical practices are of the utmost importance and for this reason companies such as these deserve to stand out and be recognized, “ said Ran Hoth, chief executive officer and president of the Better Business Bureau Serving Wisconsin. “The BBB congratulates all of the distinguished and outstanding finalists.”

The awards ceremony will take place in the Garage at the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee. Richard Pieper Sr., non-executive chairman of PPC Partners, Inc. will be the keynote speaker. Pieper is a longtime advocate of the concept of Servant Leadership and is a past recipient of the BizTimes Lifetime Achievement Award. Ted Perry of WITI Fox 6 News will be the master of ceremonies.

For more information or to register to attend, click here.

comment »

Milwaukee launches parking app
April 30, 2015 11:05 AM
The City of Milwaukee has launched a new mobile app, MKE PARK, to assist drivers with paying for parking on city streets.

The free app, available for download on both Android and Apple devices, allows the user to set up an account and pay for parking at any City of Milwaukee parking meter.

Payment can be made from any location where the device has data capabilities, allowing for remote payment.

The app also can provide notifications 15 minutes before a parking session expires and allows the user to track parking expenses over time. Users can save “favorite” and recently used parking zones on the app.

The meters will still accept coins and credit cards as forms of payment. Drivers can also pay online using or by calling 877-727-5955.

More information about the app is available at

comment »

Lincoln Park tennis courts to be converted for futsal
April 30, 2015 11:08 AM
The tennis courts at Lincoln Park in Milwaukee will be converted to futsal courts this spring.

Futsal is like soccer, but played with five players per side on a hard surface court with a weighted ball. It is one of the world’s fastest growing sports, and several other metropolitan areas have converted underutilized tennis and basketball courts to futsal courts.

The four tennis courts, at 1301 E. Hampton Ave. in Milwaukee, will become two 70-by-85-foot futsal courts with an upgraded surface.

“We are very excited about this great partnership with Milwaukee County Parks to provide the children of Milwaukee as well as adults the opportunity to play futsal in a safe and fun environment,” said Keith Tozer, commissioner of the new Professional Futsal League and president of Wisconsin Sports Group. “These courts will allow thousands of children who might not have had the opportunity to play sports before to grow as athletes while developing social skills in a team environment.”

comment »

Sprecher unveils honey root beer, apple pie flavored beverages
April 30, 2015 11:10 AM
Glendale-based Sprecher Brewing Company will raise a glass to its 30th anniversary with the release of a number of new beverages, including a limited edition Honey Root Beer.

The new variety of root beer is made with Wisconsin honey from a Germantown supplier and has a different profile from Sprecher’s original root beer, which also contains Wisconsin honey, according to the company.

“The new Honey Root Beer has the same great flavors as our original with the addition of a wild flower honey nose and flavor,” Sprecher brewmaster Craig Burge said in an announcement.

While Sprecher sodas have historically been brewed in a gas-fire brew kettle with honey included, Honey Root Beer contains 100 percent Wisconsin honey and offers customers a “richer” experience, said president Jeff Hamilton.

Sprecher Brewing Company has explored creating a honey variety of root beer before, according to Hamilton. However, it is not the most practical drink to create as honey can be hard to get and runs at a high cost, he said.

“We couldn’t possibly make this stuff all the time,” Hamilton said, adding that the newly released Honey Root Beer will be a treat for customers during the company’s anniversary celebration.

Sprecher produced 3,000 cases of its Honey Root Beer and bottled the beverage on Monday. Honey Root Beer will be available for purchase after packaging at the Sprecher Gift Shop, 701 W. Glendale Ave. in Glendale, and will also soon also be available in stores. The root beer comes in 12-oz bottles.

Additionally, Sprecher Brewing Company has introduced a Hard Apple Pie beverage, what Hamilton dubs a “revolutionary” product and one he anticipates other brewers will soon begin copying.

The flavored malt beverage, released separately from Sprecher’s anniversary commemoration, contains 5 percent alcohol by volume and tastes best when cold, according to the company. The beverage creation can be served by itself, used as a cocktail mixer, or serve in an “adults only” float – similar to Sprecher’s Hard Root Beer and Hard Ginger.

“This is the latest in our line of adult flavored malt beverages that began with Hard Root Beer in 2013,” Hamilton said. “We pioneered the first adult root beer, and now it has become a drink category with several competitors. Hard Apple Pie is another of those first-of-its-kind beverages. Every sip reminds you of eating a slice of homemade apple pie.”

Sprecher Hard Apple Pie, distributed in 12-oz bottles and in kegs, is available in the Sprecher Gift Shop starting today and will soon hit stores across the country.

comment »

BizExpo to offer action-packed agenda
April 30, 2015 11:12 AM
BizTimes Media will host the 11th annual BizExpo on Wednesday, May 20, at the Potawatomi Hotel & Casino in Milwaukee.

The event offers 20 business strategy seminars for growing businesses, networking with hundreds of area professionals, and recognition of Milwaukee’s top women leaders, innovative companies and bold entrepreneurs.

The seminars, which are included with a BizExpo Pass, cover topics ranging from negotiations to big data, sales strategy to leadership and from fostering growth to IT security.

The Women in Business breakfast will celebrate Dr. Eve Hall, the 2015 Woman Executive of the Year, and a panel of successful area women leaders will discuss how business can power change through leadership and innovation.

The Bravo! Entrepreneur and I.Q. awards luncheon will highlight Milwaukee’s boldest leaders and brightest ideas. Steve Laughlin will be honored with the Lifetime Achievement Award and Griselda Aldrete will receive the Regional Spirit Award.

The action-packed day will be capped with an After Hours networking reception.

To learn more and register for any portion of the daylong BizExpo, visit

comment »

Milwaukee Biz Blog: Arena supporters say huge opportunity must be seized
April 30, 2015 11:14 AM
The plans for a new $500 million arena in downtown Milwaukee and another $500 million in ancillary development is a once in a lifetime opportunity for the community that leaders must find a way to deliver, a panel of civic and business leaders said Tuesday at a Fuel Milwaukee event.

Read more in Wednesday’s Milwaukee Biz Blog, written by BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor Andrew Weiland.

comment »

Bubbler Quote of the Week
April 30, 2015 11:16 AM

“If UWM is to become a full-fledged hotbed for startups, an E-University, it needs to draw from many kinds of talents. Indeed, the Peck School of the Arts, the Lubar School of Business and the engineering and science schools are already pairing up teams of entrepreneurs that include students from diverse disciplines. UWM just landed a $300,000 grant to do just that.”
~John Torinus, chairman of Serigraph Inc. in West Bend
Read Wednesday’s Milwaukee Biz Blog by Torinus: Moral of Epic Creative success: Support UWM.

comment »

Bubbler Executive of the Week: Leo Ries
April 30, 2015 11:18 AM

Leo Ries, executive director of LISC Milwaukee (Local Initiatives Support Corporation)
Address: 660 E. Mason Street, #5, Milwaukee, WI 53202
Industry: Nonprofit community development
Employees: Seven

Leo Ries is capping 15 years as executive director of LISC Milwaukee this week. The nonprofit organization, grounded in a mission to revitalize Milwaukee neighborhoods, announced his leave earlier this month.

In a Q&A with BizTimes Milwaukee, Ries reflects on his accomplishments at the helm of LISC and shares his hopes for the organization’s future.

Why are you departing LISC Milwaukee?

“The short answer is – ‘it's time.’ LISC is in a good place and will benefit from someone with a fresh perspective and renewed energy. I'm at a point in my life where I'm able to cut back but still young enough to contribute in other ways. It is probably also worth noting that my wife, Marie Kingsbury, retired a year and a half ago from her position as executive director of the Waukesha Women’s Center. Every morning when I leave for work, I cannot help but notice how serenely and contentedly she sleeps.”
Looking back over the last 15 years of your leadership, what accomplishments make you most proud?

“As I stated during the MANDI program, the re-launch of the ACRE program and LISC's relationship with the Milwaukee Police Department have been important contributions to the well-being of our community in recent years.  I've also been involved with more real estate deals than I can count. But in terms of the last 15 years, the biggest accomplishment, I would have to say, has been the opportunity to support and promote the work of neighborhood development partners. Yes, Milwaukee has its challenges, but you cannot help but be inspired and encouraged by the remarkable individuals and groups who work every day, often without recognition, to turn things around. Everyone wants a simple solution to complex problems, but there are no simple solutions. Many families and neighborhoods in Milwaukee struggle with hopelessness and helplessness. They also struggle with economic trends and public policies that are stacked against them. To combat that, you have to create a vision of a new reality, mobilize your friends and neighbors, and work with tenacity and optimism to bring that new vision to life. The efforts of one organization in one neighborhood might seem rather modest by itself. But when you look the collective work being done by multiple organizations and individuals, the impact is really quite remarkable. Fundamentally, LISC is about supporting and energizing the momentum that is emerging from the grassroots of our neighborhoods. I found that work to be challenging, but also very rewarding. I’m grateful for the opportunity to have helped advance Milwaukee’s forward momentum as a vibrant, diverse, urban center with a promising future.”
What is the most significant challenge LISC Milwaukee has faced during your time with the organization?

“I guess the biggest challenge, organizationally, has been to get people, and especially some of our funders, to understand the role that LISC plays in the community development ‘ecosystem.’ LISC doesn't work like a typical service-oriented nonprofit organization. LISC is an ‘intermediary,’ which means that we play various roles – advocate, convener, investor, and bridge-builder – in order to make ‘the system’ work better and generate greater impact through collective action.”
What hopes do you have for LISC Milwaukee as a new leader takes over?

“There is a lot of good momentum in the city right now.  I would hope that my successor will sustain that momentum and will insure that LISC continues to serve as an advocate and a voice for those segments of our community that are often forgotten and left behind. I also think there are new opportunities for my successor to attract new and enhanced resources from our national office in support of the work here in Milwaukee.”

How optimistic are you for the future of Milwaukee's central city neighborhoods? What needs to happen to maximize their revitalization and ensure their sustainability?

“There is a lot of pain in our community, no question. Despite that, as I said earlier, there is also a growing determination to create a different future through self-help strategies and through collective action. Just as LISC serves as an advocate for ‘neighborhoods,’ there are groups who serve a similar role within neighborhoods. This is where the seeds of change occur. If an individual or a neighborhood is taking action to help themselves, then we, as a community, have to do whatever we can to support and sustain them.  I encourage corporations, foundations and individuals to support these neighborhood groups who are on the front line of Milwaukee’s revitalization efforts.”
What have you learned about Milwaukee during your leadership in the nonprofit sector?

“In my position at LISC, and previously at the City of Milwaukee, I’ve had the good fortune to interact with people from very diverse backgrounds – city dwellers and suburbanites, bankers and neighborhood activists, Republicans and Democrats, corporate leaders and residents of some of our poorest neighborhoods – and what I have found is that, when you cut to the bottom line, we all want the same things for ourselves and our families – we want to live in a neighborhood that are safe, attractive and nurturing. The only way for us to accomplish this in Milwaukee is for people from different segments of the community to come together around a shared vision of what our community can become and then support each other in making that vision a reality. Milwaukee, being a big ‘small town,’ is in a better position than most to pull this off because the ‘degrees of separation’ between the ‘big shots’ and the ‘little people’ is not that great. That is why I think the MANDI program has been so effective. It is a community celebration that brings together people from all walks of life. It is a celebration of our shared dreams for our city.”

What kind of support does the region's nonprofit community need from the business community in order to deliver on goals and missions?

“It seems to me that we need to create opportunities (i.e. ‘neutral ground’) for the nonprofit sector, government sector, the business community and the philanthropic community to work together to address our community’s more pressing and complex problems. Each of those sectors are driven by different incentives and organizational practices, but they each bring unique resources, knowledge and experience to the collective effort.” 

What is next for you? Will you remain involved with LISC Milwaukee in any capacity?

“I want to keep myself open to whatever opportunities that might come my way. I will continue to serve on board of directors for the Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago and for the Near West Side Partners. This summer, my wife and I will have three young women from Lithuania living with us. Other than that, I intend to take some time off to enjoy the summer and to follow up on some volunteer commitments that I’ve made.”

comment »

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

Current Issue