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Culver to retire from MGIC
July 24, 2014 09:44 AM
MGIC Investment Corp. today announced that Curt Culver will retire as chief executive officer , effective March 1.

Patrick Sinks, 57, will take Culver’s place as CEO and join the board of directors. Culver, 62, will become non-executive chairman. Sinks currently serves as president and chief operating officer of both MGIC and its principal subsidiary, Mortgage Guaranty Insurance Corp., at which the same changes will occur.

"The board appreciates Curt's leadership and his management of the company throughout his tenure as CEO, including developing executive talent,” said Kenneth Jastrow II, lead director of MTG. “The board's selection of Pat shows its confidence that Pat will be an excellent leader, and along with the rest of the management team, will continue to move the organization forward."

Sinks has been president and COO since January 2006. He served as executive vice president-field operations from 2002 to 2006. Sinks has also worked as senior vice president-controller and chief accounting officer, and in other accounting and finance roles at the company. He holds an MBA from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and a bachelor’s in accounting from the University of Mary.

"I am honored to continue to build on the strong foundation that Curt has established,” Sinks said. “His strategic vision, thoughtful leadership, business acumen and personal style have enabled MGIC to be a leader in our industry. Our company is well positioned for the future and our management team is as strong as it has ever been. I am confident that we will deliver the results our shareholders, customers and co-workers expect and deserve."

Culver joined MGIC in 1982 and became president in 1999. He was CEO and president from 2000 to January 2006. He has served as CEO and chairman since January 2005.

"I have been very fortunate to have had a long and successful career with a wonderful company and to have worked with so many talented people,” Culver said. “Pat has been a very important contributor to our company's success since he joined us 36 years ago. We have a tradition of internally developing our CEOs and I am proud that we have someone of Pat's caliber and expertise to lead us. I am confident that Pat's extensive industry knowledge, client-first approach and strategic vision will enable our company to prosper well into the future. My charge as non-executive chairman is to ensure a smooth transition and enable Pat to focus all of his energy on running the company."

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Storage Systems Midwest acquires Babush
July 24, 2014 09:51 AM
Storage Systems Midwest Inc., a Waukesha-based provider of materials storage solutions for commercial and industrial companies throughout the United States, has acquired Sussex-based Babush Material Handling Systems Inc.

The acquisition significantly expands Storage Systems Midwest’s design capabilities and product breadth of automated and materials handling and storage-related products. Equipment added to Storage Systems Midwest’s existing product offerings includes state-of-the-art material handling systems and conveying equipment, robotic palletizers, stretch-wrapping machines, and automated storage and retrieval systems.

According to R.J. Safranek, president of Storage Systems Midwest, the additional engineering expertise and product lines allow the company to offer a broader range of solutions designed to help manufacturers and warehousing distribution companies efficiently move, sort and package materials. The added equipment lines also complement Storage Systems Midwest’s storage solutions that are specifically designed and engineered to save time, space and labor.

“The world of logistics and the challenges our customers face change rapidly, especially for those who operate on a global scale,” Safranek said. “This product acquisition exemplifies how Storage Systems Midwest constantly evolves to match the needs of our customers – as well as our commitment to helping them increase the value of their space and move materials as efficiently as possible.”

The Babush corporate name eventually will be dissolved. Babush occupied a facility that housed offices and warehouse space in a building shared by another company, called Bevco Engineering. Babush will vacate its portion of the space.

Babush was managed by Chris Schult who served as owner/president of the company. Schult has not joined Storage Systems Midwest. Schult is president of Bevco Engineering.

Five Babush employees have joined Storage Systems Midwest. Other Babush employees have joined Bevco Engineering.

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Super Steel to hire 25 welders
July 24, 2014 10:59 AM
Milwaukee-based Super Steel LLC will hire 25 welders as it continues to grow to meet the demand of the construction and oil and gas industries.

Super Steel is growing in all areas of its business and has a strong backlog of work that President Dirk Smith expects will stretch into the first part of 2015.

“Agriculture is strong, transportation’s strong, industrial is very strong,” Smith said. “We’re picking up market share at our existing customers due to performance.”

The company is also picking up new customers, particularly in the booming construction and oil and gas sectors.

Super Steel is hosting two job fairs to fill the positions, on Saturday, Aug. 2, from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. and on Wednesday, Aug. 6, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at its headquarters, 7900 W. Tower Ave.

The jobs pay up to $25 per hour, and Super Steel is also offering up to $1,000 in signing bonuses.

Super Steel plans to add a total of 50 employees this year, bringing total employment to about 415, said Dirk Smith, president and chief executive officer.

The company has difficulty finding and retaining welders despite competitive wages because they are in such high demand in the area, Smith said. It has about a 50 percent retention rate for welders.

“Welders are somewhat nomadic,” he said. “We’ve created an environment here in Southeast Wisconsin where there’s high demand for welders— low supply, high demand.”

Super Steel is also hiring for engineering and project management positions to help it navigate an increasing workload.

“We’ve engaged quite a few recruiting agencies, and there just aren’t a lot of professional people in the manufacturing world right now as well,” Smith said. “I could add literally 65 people if they were out there, but we kind of augment it with overtime because we just know the candidates aren’t out there.”

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Marcus caps record quarter
July 24, 2014 09:57 AM
The Marcus Corp. today reported fiscal fourth quarter net earnings of $4.3 million, or 16 cents per share, up from $3.5 million, or 13 cents per share, in the same period a year ago.

The Milwaukee-based company reported record quarterly revenues of $108.5 million, a 7.8-percent increase from $100.1 million a year earlier.

“Our excellent fourth quarter results provided a strong ending to a very solid year for The Marcus Corporation. Fiscal 2014 revenues set new records for both divisions and for the company as a whole. Marcus Theatres significantly outperformed the industry for the second consecutive quarter and Marcus Hotels & Resorts continued its steady improvement,” said Gregory Marcus, president and chief executive officer. “Our excellent fourth quarter results provided a strong ending to a very solid year for The Marcus Corporation. Fiscal 2014 revenues set new records for both divisions and for the company as a whole. Marcus Theatres significantly outperformed the industry for the second consecutive quarter and Marcus Hotels & Resorts continued its steady improvement.”

Fiscal 2014 revenues set new records for both divisions and for the company as a whole.

Revenues for Marcus Theatres were up 10.7 percent for the fourth quarter and 10.8 percent for the full year.

“The fourth quarter revenues and operating income set new records for any 13-week fourth quarter in the division’s history,” Marcus said. “Despite the fact that the national box office was down slightly during our fourth quarter period due to a weaker slate of movies in May, we achieved an 8.2-percent increase in admissions. We attribute this strong performance to the major investments we are making in our theatres, along with successful marketing and operational strategies.”

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Fridays restaurant to reopen on game days at Miller Park
July 24, 2014 09:47 AM
The Milwaukee Brewers announced that Fridays restaurant at Miller Park will reopen today on home game days only on a limited basis.

The restaurant has been closed since a fire on July 21.

Until further notice, Fridays will only be open on days when the Brewers are playing a home game at Miller Park. On those days, it will only be operational during the hours that gates are open for fans to enter Miller Park. There will be no service at any other times.

Fans who have tickets for seating on the Fridays Home Run Porch or in the Fridays Bullpen seating area for Brewers home games will be able to access those areas with a limited food service available in those locations. The bar inside of Fridays will be open to all ticketed fans from the time that gates open until the end of the game. Service in the bar area will be limited to beverages only; there will not be any food served.

Fridays Beer Garden will be open from the time that gates open until the end of the game.

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Mutual of Omaha added as Milwaukee IndyFest sponsor
July 24, 2014 10:08 AM
Officials of the ABC Supply Co. Inc. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest Presented by the Metro Milwaukee Honda Dealers announced today that they have added Mutual of Omaha as a new event partner. Mutual of Omaha will be the official insurance company of Milwaukee IndyFest.

"Mutual of Omaha is proud to be associated with Milwaukee IndyFest," said John Hildenbiddle-senior vice president of Mutual of Omaha. "We appreciate the fun, family-oriented atmosphere and look forward to seeing some of the world's fastest drivers compete on the nation's oldest speedway."

The ABC Supply Co. Inc. Wisconsin 250 at Milwaukee IndyFest Presented by the Metro Milwaukee Honda Dealers will be held on Aug. 16-17 at State Fair Park in West Allis. The ABC Supply Wisconsin 250 race will be held at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 17, and it will be televised by the NBC Sports Network.

"We are incredibly happy to welcome Mutual of Omaha as a new partner of Milwaukee IndyFest," said Kevin Healy, general manager of Milwaukee IndyFest.  "We think that the great tradition of our race and the long and storied history of this racetrack are a perfect fit for the equally long-standing company. Mutual of Omaha is no stranger to IndyCar, and we're honored to be a part of their expanded involvement in the sport."

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Milwaukee Biz Blog: Bowling centers fall into the gutter
July 24, 2014 11:02 AM
If you do a Google search for the phrase “bowling is a dying sport,” you will discover that folks have been predicting the demise of keggling since the dawn of the digital age.

Read more in today’s Milwaukee Biz Blog by executive editor Steve Jagler.

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Health Care Weekly: Columbia St. Mary’s forms cardiothoracic agreement with Froedtert
July 24, 2014 11:03 AM
Columbia St. Mary’s and Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin have formed an agreement that will provide additional cardiothoracic surgery programs at Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Milwaukee and Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital Ozaukee.

Read more in this week’s Health Care Weekly.

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Morning Headlines: European style AC Hotel planned for downtown site
July 24, 2014 11:04 AM
While negotiations over a possible $50 million city subsidy for a new downtown Madison luxury hotel to serve Monona Terrace continue in private, public attention is turning to a separate proposal for a boutique 10-story hotel with limited parking just off the Capitol Square.

Read more in today’s Morning Headlines.

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Bubbler Weekly: Downtown Employee Appreciation Week starts on Monday
July 24, 2014 11:54 AM
Downtown Employee Appreciation Week will hit the heart of Milwaukee on Monday, July 28, through Friday, Aug. 1, to celebrate the contributions and strides made by the downtown workforce.

Read more in today’s Bubbler Weekly.

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Sealed Air to move 300 jobs from Sturtevant to Charlotte
July 23, 2014 10:46 AM
Sealed Air Corp. announced today that it will move its headquarters and 1,300 jobs, including all 300 from its Sturtevant office, to Charlotte, N.C.

The company, which is currently headquartered in Elmwood Park, N.J., acquired Sturtevant-based sanitation solutions firm Diversey Holdings Inc. in 2011. At the time, Diversey had 10,000 employees and net sales of $3.1 billion.

“There will be a number of relocations offered,” said Ken Aurichio, executive director of corporate communications for Sealed Air. “We’re still taking a look at some of the design, but there will be a large number of relocations that are offered.”

Employees that don’t want to relocate to Charlotte will have about a year to transition, he said.

“We will be beginning our move sometime in mid-2015,” Aurichio said. “We’re also going to see if there’s an opportunity to build a satellite office so employees can have a little more time.”

The other impacted locations are Elmwood Park, Saddle Brook, N.J., Danbury, Conn., and Duncan and Greenville, S.C. A “small number” of jobs will also be relocated from other locations. The Saddle Brook and Danbury manufacturing facilities will remain open, and certain operations will continue in Duncan.

“We are confident Charlotte will provide a great environment for us to operate and grow our business moving forward,” said Jerome Peribere, president and chief executive officer of Sealed Air. “This move will contribute to a stronger, one-company culture that will enable greater collaboration, efficiencies, and better use of our investments in people and new technologies.”

“We considered numerous criteria in making our decision,” Peribere said. “We believe Charlotte’s many attributes, including its solid economy and its reputation for business friendliness, technology and innovation, make it an ideal place for our employees to live and work.”

Sealed Air has 25,000 employees worldwide and reported $7.7 billion in revenue last year. The company develops food packaging, shipping, cleaning and hygiene solutions.

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Sherman takes helm of Alverno’s School of Business
July 23, 2014 11:46 AM
Alverno College has welcomed Eileen Sherman, Ph.D., as dean of its School of Business, the institution announced today.

Sherman, who has 21 years of experience in higher education, officially started her new role on July 7, succeeding Dan Horton, who retired from Alverno after nearly three years leading its School of Business.

Alverno, which is located in Milwaukee, selected Sherman from a pool of 50 applicants and four serious candidates, according to Kathleen O’Brien, senior vice president for Academic Affairs.

The college was impressed with the breadth of Sherman’s experience in academia, health care and business, O’Brien said.

“We are thrilled to have Eileen join us as the new dean of the School of Business,” O’Brien said. “She brings a wealth of higher education and business experience to her new role that will help the school further refine its strategic vision and continue to develop graduates who can provide significant value to their employers.”
Prior to joining Alverno’s School of Business, Sherman was an associate dean in the undergraduate school of Cardinal Stritch University’s College of Business and Management as well as an associate professor.

During her tenure at Cardinal Stritch, located in Milwaukee, Sherman guided the strategies and operations behind the university’s adult accelerated and traditional undergraduate business programs. She was also responsible for devising and improving curriculum for associate-level through master-level coursework for non-traditional students.

She has also taught at Marquette University and at the Medical College of Wisconsin, both in Milwaukee.

Additionally, her career has included experience in health care administration and business ownership, according to O’Brien.

Sherman completed her Bachelor of Science degree from Worcester State College in Worcester, Mass. She earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Boston University and a doctorate in organizational behavior from Marquette University.

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MU Law poll: Walker and Burke still neck and neck
July 23, 2014 12:36 PM
The new Marquette University Law School Poll shows that Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke are still neck and neck in the race for governor.

Among registered voters, Walker holds an edge with 46 percent to Burke's 45 percent. But among registered voters likely to vote, Burke garnered 47 percent and Walker 46 percent of respondents' support.

The new poll was conducted from July 17 to 20 and included 804 registered voters. Of the respondents, 549 said they were likely to vote in the November election.

In the May poll, both Walker and Burke held 46 percent among registered voters, and Walker led Burke 48 percent to 45 percent among likely voters.

Both ways of looking at the results of the poll are within the margins of error, which are 3.5 percentage points for the full sample and 4.3 percentage points among likely voters, said Charles Franklin, poll director.

Partisanship remains strong, with 93 percent of Republicans supporting Walker and 88 percent of Democrats backing Burke. Independents were split 45-44 in favor of Walker, in contrast to 49-40 in Walker's favor in May.

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DWD awards grants to Gateway and Waukesha County Technical Colleges
July 23, 2014 12:14 PM
Gateway Technical College has received nearly $1.9 million in Wisconsin Fast Forward grant funding, while Waukesha County Technical College has been allocated close to $1.7 million, Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development announced today.

The two technical colleges were awarded portions of a grant initiative totaling more than $28 million that Gov. Scott Walker announced last week.

According to Walker’s announcement, Wisconsin is distributing more than $28 million in Wisconsin Fast Forward grants to the Wisconsin Technical College System to train more than 4,900 workers.

That system encompasses 16 schools, including Gateway Technical College in Kenosha and Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee.

At Gateway Technical College, grant dollars will support the training of a maximum 756 workers in several “high-demand areas,” the DWD said. Those areas touch disciplines in manufacturing, business management, apprenticeship, education, health care and more.

At Waukesha County Technical College, up to 168 workers will benefit from grant dollars. Workers will be trained for careers in manufacturing, education and human services, and applied science fields.

Transportation, distribution and logistics training will also be covered under the grants.

“These grant dollars will significantly impact the journey of our students pursuing high-demand programs such as welding, computer numerical control (CNC), early childhood education and transportation, and in turn benefit our local economy,” said Kaylen Betzig, interim president of Waukesha County Technical College. “We are pleased and honored that the governor recognizes WCTC’s work as an important and valuable investment.”

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Water Council to get part of $30 million JPMorgan grant
July 23, 2014 11:52 AM
The Water Council is one of 10 nonprofit cluster organizations in the country included in a five-year, $30 million grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The Milwaukee-based Water Council integrates freshwater research, innovation, education and business development with the goal of making the city a global water technology hub.

The other organizations included in the grant are: the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Free Enterprise Center; LA Cleantech in Los Angeles; the New Jersey Innovation Institute in Newark, N.J.; the New Orleans BioInnovation Center; QB3 in San Francisco; Washington Interactive Network in Seattle; and BioSTL in St. Louis.

JPMorgan will not release the amount invested in each of the organizations until later this year, a spokesman said.

The grants, part of a new JPMorgan program called Small Business Forward SM, works to connect entrepreneurs with the critical resources to help their businesses grow, create jobs and strengthen communities. It specifically targets high-growth economic “clusters” that work with small businesses in a particular sector.

The organizations will use the grants to provide small businesses with networking, educational partnerships, workforce management training, supplier networks and export promotion.

“Beyond their vital role in our economy, small businesses are often the source of innovation and inspiration,” said Scott Geller, chief executive officer of Chase Business Banking. “Helping local, small business clusters grow faster and create more jobs will take JPMorgan Chase’s involvement in the entrepreneurial community to a new level.”

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