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Thursday, January 29, 2015
Milwaukee County announces second traveling beer garden tour
January 29, 2015 11:01 AM
More beer will flow through Milwaukee County parks this summer with the addition of a second Traveling Beer Garden Tour, which will feature beer, authentic German food and other menu items from Sprecher Brewing and Sprecher’s Restaurant and Pub.

The tour is slated to hit 15 parks over 16 weeks, stopping in two parks per week, according to an announcement made by Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele on Tuesday.

The new tour was largely inspired by the success of the Traveling Beer Garden concept introduced by Abele last year. That tour raised close to $250,000. Separate beer gardens held in Estabrook, Humboldt, and Hoyt Parks generated another $180,000 in 2014.

The county was pleasantly surprised by the success of the gardens, said county spokesperson Brendan Conway, who added that the county had originally hoped to hit the $100,000 mark with the inaugural Traveling Beer Garden Tour. The tour accomplished that mark by its third stop, he said.

Revenue collected by the beer gardens is pumped back into park improvement efforts countywide.

Those improvement efforts will be bolstered this year by a $32,000 donation made by Sprecher Brewing through the Park People of Milwaukee County.

“These beer gardens make our parks safer, more fun and bring in extra money to improve parks across the county,” Abele said in a statement. “As I’ve done since taking office, we’re making parks better and finding ways to do it sustainably.”

Similar to the first tour, the second tour will roll through parks in a renovated fire truck. Conway said the fire truck housing the new tour will be able to hold two to three times as much beer as the original tour’s fire truck and will better accommodate the demand of last year’s tour.

The 2014 traveling tour, which piqued the interest of other cities and counties across the country, sold more than 35,000 beers in addition to nearly 6,000 sodas and 2,300 root beer floats, according to the county.

The 2015 tour schedule features:

*Whitnall/Root River Area #1 Shelter and Dretzka Chalet – May 20-31
*Froemming Park and Gordon Park – June 3-14
*Grant Park and Doctors Park – June 16-28
*Juneau Park and Sheridan Park – July 1-12
*Greenfield Park and Mitchell Park Domes Plaza – July 15-26
*Holler Park and Brown Deer Boathouse – July 29-Aug. 9
*Falk Park and Red Arrow Park – Aug. 12-23
*Whitnall/Root River Area #1 Shelter and Greene Park – Aug. 26 – Sept. 7

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Krause joins The Lowe Group
January 29, 2015 11:04 AM
The Lowe Group, a Milwaukee-based investment and corporate communications firm, announced the addition of former Milwaukee Journal Sentinel assistant managing editor Marilyn Krause as director.

Krause will focus on outreach strategy, project management, content development, and media relations on behalf of The Lowe Group’s clients.

“We are thrilled to add an accomplished professional like Marilyn to our team,” said Jody Lowe, president and managing director. “She brings years of journalism and management experience to our growing firm. She has also been a leader in the community as past president of the Milwaukee Press Club, past co-chair of the annual City of Milwaukee Birthday Party and a board member of Tempo Milwaukee, among other activities.”

Krause has spent the past 27 years with the Journal Sentinel. She began her career as a reporter and then editor on the paper's local news desk, ultimately rising in the organization to senior level management with responsibilities for staff training and mentoring, strategic planning and operations, and budget management.

“I am excited to take this next step in my career,” said Krause. “The Lowe Group represents an opportunity for me to use my writing and journalism skills in a new way in an industry that truly interests me.  I look forward to using my experience on behalf of The Lowe Group’s clients.  “I’m grateful for my years with the paper, starting with the Milwaukee Journal, and will miss my many friends and colleagues.”

Founded in 2002, The Lowe Group provides corporate and investor communications consulting services. The firm serves a range of clients, with a particular focus on the financial services sector, and specializes in public relations, media training, investor communications, content creation, digital marketing, and strategic messaging.

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Keith Urban, Phillip Phillips coming to Summerfest
January 29, 2015 11:06 AM
Milwaukee World Festival, Inc. announced on Thursday that Keith Urban along with Phillip Phillips and special guest Dan + Shay will headline a Summerfest concert this year.

The performers, who will take the stage at the Marcus Amphitheater on Friday, June 26, are the third major festival act to be announced.

Urban, an iconic country star, released his seventh studio album “FUSE” in September 2013. That album was his fourth #1 album, and Urban hit unprecedented success when he became the first male country artist to debut atop the all-genre charts in the United States, Canada and Australia, according to Milwaukee World Festival officials. Top songs on the album include “Little Bit of Everything” and “We Were Us,” which Urban collaborated on with fellow country artist Miranda Lambert.

The success of “FUSE” also extended Urban’s designation as the artist with the most consecutive top 10 songs on Billboard’s country Airplay Chart – a designation he first claimed in August 2000.

Urban, who has also served as an “American Idol” judge and is a member of the Grand Ole Opry, is a four-time Grammy Award winner, a People’s Choice Award winner, an American Music Award winner and an 11-time winner within the Academy of Country Music Awards. Of all his songs, he has had 17 #1 hits.

Phillips, a singer and songwriter famous for winning season 11 of “American Idol,” has toured the globe playing his light rock-and-roll style. With two albums under his belt, he has performed with Matchbox Twenty, John Mayer and Bruce Springsteen.

Performers Dan + Shay are up-and-comers in the national music scene. The duo released their first album, “Where It All Began,” last April and have since toured with country stars Hunter Hayes and Blake Shelton as well as led their own tour.

Tickets for the artists’ June 26 show will go on sale on Friday, Feb. 6, at noon. Patrons who purchase tickets will be automatically admitted into Summerfest’s 2015 festival, which will run from June 24 through June 28 and June 30 through July 5.

Summerfest is held each year at Henry Maier Festival Park, located at 200 N. Harbor Dr. in Milwaukee. For more information on the festival, visit

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Abele names new airport director
January 29, 2015 11:08 AM
Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele has named Terry Slaybaugh to the position of airport director at General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee.

Slaybaugh replaces Barry Bateman, who retired in April. Abele’s office conducted a thorough national search and interview process to fill the position.

Slaybaugh is currently the director at Dayton International Airport in Dayton, Ohio. While serving in that role, he has driven an “aggressive” airport modernization capital program to help the travel hub remain fiscally sound, according to the county executive’s office.

 “In the almost four years I've been in office, I have been directly involved with hiring decisions for leadership in many departments because I know the most important factor in any organization's success is its leadership,” Abele said. “I've worked hard to bring to the county not just competence and experience, but the kind of drive and passion that consistently outperforms expectations. Terry is no exception. He's a leader who enthusiastically shares my vision of making Mitchell a model for efficiency, customer service, aggressive and proactive engagement with the business community, and a strong strategic partner in economic development and planning.

“I want to thank deputy airport director Terry Blue who has been helping run Mitchell during this search; he’s done a great job.”

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New Pabst CEO scouts Milwaukee for new brewery
January 29, 2015 11:10 AM
Pabst Brewing Co. may be coming home to Milwaukee.

Eugene Kashper, Pabst's new chairman and chief executive officer, plans to open a small brewery in Milwaukee, where the company was founded in 1844.

"It would be our test kitchen," said Kashper, who recently toured the city and scouted locations.

Kashper intends to experiment with Pabst recipes for brands that were made before Prohibition.

Kashper's trip to Milwaukee included a visit at the former Pabst Brewery mixed-use complex, now known as The Brewery, along West Juneau Avenue. The site also includes Best Place at the Historic Pabst Brewery, which is operated by Jim and Karen Haertel.

"It would be awesome for Milwaukee's soul to have Pabst come home. We've been waiting for this for 15 years," Karen Haertel said.

The Pabst site also includes the Brew House Inn & Suites, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Joseph J. Zilber School of Public Health, other offices, apartments and taverns.

Kashper said the former Pabst Brewery is one of the sites under consideration for the new Milwaukee brewery.

Pabst Brewing was sold last November for an undisclosed price to Blue Ribbon Intermediate Holdings LLC, a partnership between Kashper and San Francisco-based TSG Consumer Partners LLC.

In 1985, Pabst was sold to California-based S&P Co., operated by Paul Kalmanovitz. S&P closed the Pabst Brewery in Milwaukee in 1996. The site sat dormant for years until the Haertels acquired it.

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Hilton Garden Inn opens co-working space
January 29, 2015 11:12 AM
A new co-working space called Genius@Work has opened in the Hilton Garden Inn in downtown Milwaukee.

The 1,200-square-foot space was created by Rosemont, Ill.-based First Hospitality Group, which owns the hotel, designed by Interior Investments and built by Venture Development.

Genius@Work is available to both hotel guests and the general public 365 days a year for a fee. The modern space includes high-speed Wi-Fi, AV equipment and printing/scanning/fax/copy machine as well as complimentary coffee, tea and snacks. It is divided into an open office environment, two private rooms and a conference room that can seat 10.

There are many other co-working spaces in Milwaukee, including Hudson Business Lounge, 96square and Bucketworks.

Genius@Work sets itself apart because it is connected to the hotel and its amenities and guests, said Elizabeth MacFarlane, development associate for First Hospitality Group. Guests don’t have to leave the hotel to use the co-working space, and they can network with travelers from around the world who are also staying at the hotel. In addition, catering, valet services, guest rooms and additional meeting spaces are available from the hotel for meetings held in the space.

FHG expects to sign up about 50 to 100 individuals for annual memberships, and offer up to 35 day passes each day. Corporate memberships are also available, MacFarlane said.

Membership options range from one day for $20 to a full year for $1,200. The conference room can also be rented by the hour.

“Genius@Work is coming to the Milwaukee marketplace at a pivotal time,” said Robert Habeeb, FHG president and chief operating officer. “With the surge in new business and startups in the city, Genius@Work provides an inspirational space and all the resources necessary for those individuals and groups to gather, share ideas and collaborate.”

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Economic Trends 2015: Ramp it up!
January 29, 2015 11:14 AM
Businesses in southeastern Wisconsin finished 2014 in strong fashion and are forecasting gains in revenues, profits and hiring in 2015.

For a sneak peek at the year ahead, read the annual BizTimes Economic Trends special report, which features projections for staffing, logistics, real estate, technology, banking, health care, manufacturing, mergers and acquisitions, and more. Overall, the forecasts have not been this bullish since before the Great Recession.

To view a summary of those forecasts, watch BizTimes executive editor Steve Jagler on UpFront with Mike Gousha.

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Bubbler Quote of the Week
January 29, 2015 11:16 AM

“Personally, I don't know how EDWC could have done a better job at bringing all of the organizations to the table and coming up with a better win-win situation. I think if they do more of the same, they will have succeeded.”
~Adam Lauber, controller at Germantown-based Cambridge Major Laboratories, Inc.
Read Tuesday’s Milwaukee Biz Blog by BizTimes reporter Erica Breunlin: Washington County launches workforce program.

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BizTimes Bubbler Executive of the Week: Chris Goller
January 29, 2015 11:18 AM

Chris Goller, regional president for Wisconsin, PNC Financial Services Group Inc.
Address: 411 E. Wisconsin Ave., Suite 1400, Milwaukee
Industry: Financial services
Employees: 54,000 nationwide
Family: Fourth generation Milwaukeean, wife and two daughters

What was the smartest thing PNC Bank did in the past year?
“PNC continues to do its part to help drive and sustain economic activity and to support initiatives that strengthen and revitalize the communities we serve. Since we entered this market, we have built 12 new branches, continue lending to businesses of all sizes and strongly support arts and education programs in the city.   

“We’re particularly proud to have opened our new branch at 16th and National, in a predominately Hispanic neighborhood that has seen its share of economic challenges. We’ve continued to work with a number of local businesses to help them succeed. We recognize that as our local businesses prosper, so do our communities, which is exactly why are so involved in the revitalization of Milwaukee’s neighborhoods.”   

Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any other significant capital investments in your bank in the next year?
“The new and reconfigured branches represent a considerable investment of time and effort. We will continue to grow our business by investing in technology to ensure the ease and security of banking for our customers. For example, we recently announced that PNC customers can now use Apple Pay for retail transactions.”

What will be PNC Bank’s main challenges in the next year?
“The banking industry faces continued challenges, from a tepid economic recovery and low interest rates to new regulations and a highly competitive landscape. Our focus on our customers and communities is how we will differentiate PNC and continue to add value and growth in this environment. We’ll do this by continuing to deliver innovative technology and solutions that offer a superior experience, convenience and security.”

How does PNC give back to the community?
“Our teams live and work in the communities we serve, which enables us to have a close connection with our community, our clients and local philanthropic projects. We are especially passionate about investing our time and efforts in early education and the arts.  

“From a community development/investment perspective, we also give back. For example, PNC is the only bank in the country to have been awarded New Markets Tax Credit allocation in each of the last four rounds and is an active investor in the tax credits created. NMTCs are awarded by the federal government as an incentive for private investors like PNC to invest in low-income communities needing revitalization. Two of the most impactful projects we have recently invested in locally are the $20 million construction of the new St. Ann’s Center of Intergenerational Care Bucyrus Campus and the $21 million construction of the new Sojourner Family Justice Center. We also invested in a $20 million loan pool in 2014 with the Milwaukee Economic Development Corporation to bring the NMTC resource to smaller projects and businesses here.

“PNC has been fortunate to be able to collaborate with various local innovative community development-focused stakeholders in these projects including: IFF, Forward Community Investments, First-Ring Industrial Redevelopment Enterprise and others to create the best community outcome. It’s the type of win-win partnership and investment of which PNC is proud.”

Why are you and PNC Bank so committed to backing early education and the arts in particular? How have you and the bank specifically contributed to each of these focus areas?
“We recognize that kindergarten readiness is the foundation of our children’s future success, and ultimately, the success of our local economy. Preparing our young children for their first day of school not only helps them learn and succeed as they progress in school; it impacts all of us as they grow up to be our leaders, innovators and employers.   

“Through Grow Up Great, our signature philanthropic cause that began in 2004, PNC has created a $350 million, multi-year initiative to help prepare children from birth to age 5 for success in school and life. PNC employees get up to 40 hours of paid time off per year to volunteer with Grow Up Great locally. Separately, the PNC Foundation also matches employee giving to nonprofits. Locally, we work with more than 10 organizations, including the United Community Center, the Betty Brinn Children’s Museum and First Stage Children’s Theater. The arts are also a crucial economic component in Milwaukee, with the ability to create full-time jobs and generate revenue for local businesses, which in turn pay local and state taxes. Since 2011, we have provided financial and volunteer support for a variety of organizations and initiatives including the United Way of Greater Milwaukee, United Performing Arts Fund, Milwaukee Art Museum, LISC, Milwaukee Jewish Federation, MMAC, Greater Milwaukee Committee, COA, Meta House, Discovery World, Journey House and many other fantastic nonprofit organizations in our community.”

What has kept you here in the greater Milwaukee area?
“Milwaukee is home for me and my family. Four generations of Gollers grew up here. I’m a Marquette alumnus and have spent my professional life here, so I have firsthand experience of the strong feeling of ‘community’ that is part of Milwaukee’s vibe.  

“PNC is a Main Street bank and so this feeling of community and support aligns with my strategic goals and how we do business at PNC. As a corporate leader, I’m fortunate to be able to contribute and support that growth.”

Do you have a business mantra?
“People come first. Results will follow.”

From a business standpoint, who do you look up to?
“Two great leaders that I respect are Winston Churchill and Warren Buffett. While Winston Churchill is not always associated with being a business leader, his determination to see success even in the face of tremendous challenges is a key attribute every great business leader needs. Warren Buffett has been the world’s greatest long-term investor, with an ability to make decisions with a long-term focus as well as a commitment to philanthropy.”

What was the best advice you ever received?
“Nothing happens without a plan. The plan will always change, but the process of planning is critical to its success.”

What do you like to do in your free time?
“I enjoy spending quality time with family. I have a wonderful wife, Amy, and two great daughters, Grace and Lily. I’m a Packers, Brewers and UWM Panthers fan so we are there year round. We have season tickets to the First Stage Children’s Theater and the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, and we love to take the kids.”

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BizTimes Around Town: IREM 23rd Annual Forecast Breakfast
January 29, 2015 11:20 AM
The Milwaukee chapter of the Institute of Real Estate Management (IREM) recently held its 23rd Annual Forecast Breakfast, where speakers discussed the residential, retail, industrial and office markets. The event, of which BizTimes Media was a sponsor, took place at the Italian Conference Center in Milwaukee.

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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