Duncan Solutions appoints Flaherty as new CEO
January 30, 2015 05:21 PM
Duncan Solutions Ltd., a Milwaukee-based global provider of on-street parking management solutions, announced today that its board of directors has appointed Mike Flaherty as its new chief executive officer.
In addition to his role as Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Flaherty will also serve as a member of Duncan’s board.
“For several years, Mike has brought to Duncan a wealth of experience, leadership, and enthusiasm for our industry and our clients,” said board chairman David DiPilla on the announcement.  “Given his past experience and capabilities, we are extremely pleased to have Mike lead our global business with a renewed focus on helping our clients achieve their strategic goals – efficient operations, strong program revenues, and outstanding services to the citizens they serve.”

Flaherty succeeds Mike Nickolaus, who had served as Duncan’s CEO since 2006. Nickolaus announced his resignation as CEO in September but remains a member of Duncan’s board.

Since 2010, Flaherty has served as Duncan’s chief operating officer (COO), overseeing Duncan’s operations in the United States and Australia. Flaherty has a 30-year career in the government services sector including executive management positions at Lockheed Martin, ACS and Pitney Bowes.  

Duncan provides parking and transportation management products and services to municipal and commercial clients worldwide, including parking meters, enforcement solutions, citation processing, customer service, debt collections and integrated on-street parking management services.

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Milwaukee YMCA emerges from bankruptcy
January 30, 2015 01:15 PM
The YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee officially exited from Chapter 11 bankruptcy today after receiving confirmation from the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin in a hearing that lasted less than hour.

The nonprofit organization filed for Chapter 11 in June after announcing a debt in excess of $30 million in April. The organization has since been focused on creating a restructuring plan and shrinking the scope of its mission in order to pay off its debt while building long-term sustainability.

Julie Tolan, president and chief executive officer of the YMCA of Metropolitan Milwaukee, expressed an overwhelming sense of relief upon the court’s decision to confirm the plan of reorganization. Tolan said she is grateful” that no claims objections were made to the case.

Tolan also said that today marks an “important moment” for the Y, the greater community and all stakeholders involved in the months of reconfiguring.

The organization is “so appreciative of the community coming together and demonstrating in a myriad of ways that the Y needed to be saved,” Tolan said.

The organization is “so appreciative of the community coming together and demonstrating in a myriad of ways that the Y needed to be saved,” Tolan said.

Under the Y’s new direction, it will provide its education, health and wellness and childcare services at sites in urban communities and at sites that are mainly leased, restricted or gifted.

The organization has sold or secured sales for more than 70 percent of its owned properties and has contributed the majority of sale proceeds toward debt reduction.

One property it could not find a buyer for will close. That property, the South Shore branch located in Cudahy, has been the “hardest” part of the case, according to Tolan.

She emphasized that the decision to close the branch was a “business decision,” as was every other decision made throughout the process of restructuring. A combination of factors working against the branch, including stagnant membership, growing competition from other fitness facilities and mounting facility costs challenged the Y to maintain the branch or nail down a new owner.

The Y’s new collection of facilities are: The Downtown YMCA, 161 W. Wisconsin Ave.; Northside YMCA, 1350 W. North Ave.; Northwest YMCA, formerly the John C. Cudahy YMCA, 9050 N. Swan Rd.; Parklawn YMCA, 4340 N. 46th St.; Rite-Hite Family YMCA, 9250 N. Green Bay Rd.; and Camp Minikani on Lake Amy Belle in Hubertus, Wis.

The Y is in the process of selling its downtown site, also its headquarters, to a third-party buyer who has not been identified. Sale proceeds will be used to repay the organizations’ creditors, and it will then lease the facility back from the new owner so that it can remain functional. The Y’s leadership team plans to begin looking for a new space to house its downtown programming and will vacate its leased space upon the move. The organization has not begun looking for a new location but will put priority on the search moving forward.

Similar priority will be placed on reconstructing the leadership team, particularly in the nonprofit’s sales and development and donor relations departments.

Also in line with its restructuring plan, the Y has sold its former charter school, the Young Leaders Academy, as well as transitioned some of its programs to other organizations, including having transferred its “Sponsor-A-Scholar” program to Boys and Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee.

Additionally, the nonprofit has devised a new revenue model in which 50 percent of revenue will be generated from programming, up from 38 percent under the previous model. Support revenue will also be ramped up with about 21 percent of revenue – up from 9 percent – coming from philanthropy, grants, government funding and other sources. Membership will account for about 29 percent of total revenue, down from 49 percent in the past.

The Milwaukee Y now has a “much more rationalized” business model moving forward, Tolan said, particularly as it focuses on touting all its services to prospective members, operating programs specific to its mission, and expanding its pool of support.

There is “an even stronger case” for people to support the organization’s mission now, Tolan said.  

Programming that will remain core to the organization includes youth camps, child care, health and wellness activities, before- and after-school programming, and senior exercise and social programming.

While the past several months have taken a toll on Tolan and the organization, she said she is proud of the “mission impact” the organization continued to deliver throughout its restructuring.

The fact that members were not disrupted while the Y plotted out its new direction and the fact that the organization successfully transferred many of its properties to new owners is “worth celebrating,” she said.

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Manufacturing growth continues to slow after record November
January 30, 2015 10:15 AM
Manufacturing activity in southeastern Wisconsin and northern Illinois grew more slowly in January, according to a new report.

The Marquette-ISM Report on Manufacturing showed the seasonally adjusted Purchasing Managers Index was at 51.60 in January, down from 57.61 in December. Manufacturers experienced record growth in November, with a reading of 70.25.

Any number more than 50 indicates growth, while less than 50 signals contraction. The PMI has measured more than 50 for 15 of the past 17 months.

In the January survey, respondents said:

  • “There have been delays in both East and West Coast ports. These delays have been between two to three weeks in both coasts.”
  • “Many companies had longer shut downs during the long holiday break, and when they came back to work at the New Year they began placing new orders.”
  • “Orders are steady during the normal seasonal slump period.”
Production, employment, exports and imports grew in January. New orders, supplier deliveries, inventories, prices and backlog of orders all either declined or slowed their growth.

Regarding these indices, respondents said:
  • “There is a strong belief that oil prices will increase.”
  • “Major declines in the cost of gasoline and natural gas have yet to cause corresponding product prices (i.e. plastics, etc.) to fall.”
  • “Driver shortages have led to reduced services on long haul LTL and rates are firm.”
  • “Acrylic, also known as Plexiglas, went up approximately 3 percent to 5 percent during the beginning of the month.”
  • “Steel mills have reduced the discount points to distribution making the net to customers higher.”
Seasonally adjusted blue collar employment increased from 52.6 in December to 57.3 in January, while seasonally adjusted white collar employment declined from 52.6 in December to 45.8 in January.

In the six-month outlook on business conditions, respondents indicated a downward shift in positive expectations compared with December. About 37.5 percent of respondents expect positive conditions over the next six months, 43.8 percent expect conditions to remain the same and 18.8 percent expect conditions to worsen within the next six months.

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City attorney says petition drive might not be able to stop streetcar
January 30, 2015 12:00 PM
The petition drive to stop the proposed downtown Milwaukee streetcar might not be able to stop the controversial $124 million project, according to an opinion issued this week by City Attorney Grant Langley.

The petition drive, organized by CRG Network for a group of streetcar opponents led by Ald. Robert Donovan and Ald. Joe Davis Sr., seeks to pass direct legislation that would require voter approval of any rail project in Milwaukee that costs $20 million or more in city funds. The opponents of the project need to gather 31,000 signatures to force the Common Council to either pass the direct legislation or ask voters to consider it in a referendum.

However, direct legislation cannot overturn an existing ordinance or resolution. The Common Council originally approved the streetcar project in 2011. The proposal that is currently being reviewed by the council could be considered an amendment to the 2011 streetcar approval, Langley’s opinion states.

“There is a valid legal argument that the proposed ordinance constitutes a substantial amendment of Common Council resolutions…previously adopted by the Common Council in 2011, and therefore may not be proper subject of direct legislation,” Langley’s opinion states.

City Clerk James Owczarski sought a legal opinion asking Langley if the Common Council could approve the streetcar plan if petitions opposing it had been submitted and certified.

In that case, Langley’s opinion says the council could still approve the streetcar plans, but they could be overturned later if the direct legislation was approved by voters.

However, time is running out for streetcar opponents to submit petitions and have them be certified before the Common Council takes final action on the streetcar plans. The council is scheduled to vote on the streetcar proposal at its Feb. 10 meeting. Streetcar opponents hoped to submit the petitions before that meeting. But the city clerk and the city’s election commission need time to review and certify the signatures on the petitions. By law the city clerk is given 15 days to complete that process. By the time that process is completed the Common Council could have adopted the streetcar plans.

Langley was not asked if the council could approve the streetcar plans if the petitions are submitted but not certified.

He was also not asked about the 2011 Common Council vote on the streetcar, but voluntarily stated that it might make the petition drive moot.

It is possible the direct legislation could be approved after the council approves the streetcar project and that voter approval would be required for future expansions of the streetcar system, as long as they cost $20 million or more in city funds.

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Wisconsin Precision acquires Northern Precision
January 30, 2015 12:05 PM
Wisconsin Precision Casting Corp. of East Troy announced on Thursday the acquisition of Northern Precision Casting Corp. in Lake Geneva. The closing date is set for Feb. 28.

Northern Precision will retain its name and become a division of Wisconsin Precision. The two plants are located within 19 miles of each other with over 160,000 square feet of manufacturing capability.  

“Wisconsin Precision Casting is not only excited about the acquisition of Northern Precision Casting from a capacity perspective and we are proud that the Giovannetti family has worked very closely with us on bringing this to fruition,” said Cliff Fischer, co- owner and vice president of operations at Wisconsin Precision. “With the strengths and talents that each operation brings to the table, we feel that there will be exciting possibilities for both our customers and employees. The added capacity will allow Wisconsin Precision Casting to continue to grow and to service our customers by delivering a quality product, on time, at a competitive price.”

The acquisition will bring together the best practices, expertise and technology of each company along with one of the broadest alloy selections of ferrous and non-ferrous alloys in the industry to better serve their customers and the growing needs of the marketplace, the companies said.

The addition of Northern Precision is also said to help expand Wisconsin Precision’s market opportunities and accelerate its ability to serve a growing industrial market.

Gary Giovannetti, chairman/ director of marketing at Northern Precision said, “We see this transaction as a tremendous opportunity to synergistically integrate two Wisconsin family-held businesses with a combined 100-plus years foundry knowledge and expertise into one larger and stronger company with sufficient capacity and product range to satisfy the wants and needs of our growing customers.”  

Northern Precision has been servicing the industrial marketplace since 1949, focusing on machinery and construction equipment, industrial tools and fluid handling systems.

Wisconsin Precision, which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2014, serves primarily manufacturers of food processing equipment, health care equipment and the OEM marketplace.

Fischer could not be reached for further details about the transaction.

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Redevelopment planned for International Building in Walker’s Point
January 30, 2015 12:09 PM
The City of Milwaukee plans to sell the four-story, 76,350-square-foot building, known as the International Building, at 611 W. National Ave. in the Walker’s Point neighborhood, to a developer that plans to convert it into apartments and first floor commercial space.

The city acquired the 115-year-old building earlier this month through property tax foreclosure. It was previously owned by social service agency Esperanza Unida.

The city plans to sell the building for $1.3 million to 611 West National Avenue Milwaukee LLC, which is controlled by Northpointe Holding LLC. Callan Schultz and Andrew Dumke are the managers and members of Northpointe Holding and are affiliated with Keystone Development, which currently owns 1,700 apartment units in Wisconsin, Michigan and Ohio.

The development group plans to renovate the first floor of the International Building into commercial space and will convert the second, third and fourth floors into 36 apartments. They plan to use Wisconsin Housing and Economic Development Authority multi-family financing and federal and state historic tax credits to fund the renovations. A condition of the WHEDA financing will require that 20 percent of the units be leased to individuals or families with incomes at or below 80 percent of the county median income. The remaining 80 percent of the apartment units will be leased at market rates.
Esperanza Unida plans to move its office to a yet to be determined new location, said general manager Manny Perez.

“We are happy to see the next stage coming for economic development for the International Building,” he said. “Esperanza Unida supported the foreclosure process as it prevented city of Milwaukee taxpayers from having to pay penalties to the federal government and eliminated debt for Esperanza Unida. We will support the new buyers and we support economic development along 6th Street.”

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Strattec profits up on stronger automotive industry
January 30, 2015 12:10 PM
Milwaukee-based vehicle access control products manufacturer Strattec Security Corp. reported fiscal 2015 second quarter net income of $6.9 million, or $1.58 per share, up from $4.7 million, or $1.09 per share, in the second quarter of 2014.

The net income increase was driven by a strengthening automotive market and foreign currency transaction gains, which totaled $1.6 million, compared with a loss of $174,000 a year ago.

Operating income was $7.9 million, up from $6.7 million in the same period a year ago.

Revenue was $101.9 million, up from $81.5 million in the second quarter of 2015.

During the quarter, Strattec significantly increased its sales to Chrysler Group LLC, General Motors Co. and Hyundai/Kia compared to the second quarter last year, which it attributed to higher vehicle production volumes and greater product content on the 2015 models of vehicles for which it supplies components.

“During the quarter, we continued to benefit from a strong automotive market and new product introductions that have resulted in growth of sales and profits compared to last year.  We began moving into two purchased facilities to expand manufacturing capacity in Juarez, Mexico and to consolidate Detroit-area sales and engineering efforts in Auburn Hills, Michigan.
“For calendar year 2014, shareholders experienced a total return exceeding 85%. We are extremely pleased that our overall Company performance has been recognized and appreciated.  Next month, STRATTEC will celebrate its 20th anniversary as an independent public company.  During that time, we have evolved from a North American Company with a single product to a global Company with a family of access products.  Recent efforts toward complimentary product diversification has further stimulated fresh thinking in our core business.  We are encouraged that our associates, both hourly and salaried, have responded so positively to the strategic initiatives which have influenced our current positive results. ”

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Koss Corp. recovers from loss
January 30, 2015 12:12 PM
Milwaukee-based headphone manufacturer Koss Corp. today reported fiscal 2015 second quarter net income of $165,586, or 2 cents per share, compared with a loss of $3.5 million, or 47 cents lost per share, in the second quarter of 2014.

Koss recorded a $4.5 million impairment charge in the second quarter of 2014 related to its STRIVA product line.

Operating income was $315,561, compared with a loss of $5.4 million in the same period a year ago.

Revenue for the second quarter was $7.0 million, up 8 percent from $6.5 million in the second quarter of 2014.

"Given the recent challenges, we are encouraged by the increase in sales for the quarter and the fact that the company reported a profit for both the quarter and the first six months. Sales in certain export markets, especially Scandinavia, increased in the quarter," said Michael Koss, president and chief executive officer. "Sales in Ukraine, Czech Republic and Japan continued to struggle compared to last year."

"We are beginning to experience a turnaround in some markets with encouraging strength in the U.S. market. Last year's promotional load-in transaction with a domestic customer resulted in net sales for the three and six months ended December 31, 2013 of approximately $990,000 and $1,380,000, respectively. Those net sales had to be covered by other customers in the current quarter," Koss said. "Our cost reduction efforts have allowed us to be profitable at the current sales level and to conserve cash. Various cost reduction projects helped to reduce selling, general and administrative expenses by approximately $1.7 million from last year's levels in the first six months of the year."

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ManpowerGroup reports higher profits in 4Q
January 30, 2015 12:14 PM
Milwaukee-based staffing and workforce development firm ManpowerGroup today reported fourth quarter net income of $117.2 million, or $1.47 per share, up from $101.2 million, or $1.25 per share, in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Operating income was $193.3 million, up from $167 million in the same period a year ago.

Revenue was $5.1 billion, down 2 percent from $5.3 billion in the fourth quarter last year.

Interest and other expenses were $11.3 million, up from $9.2 million in the fourth quarter of 2013. The increase was attributed to miscellaneous expenses.

The fourth quarter results were unfavorably impacted by 13 cents per share as a result of foreign currency transactions.

For the full year, ManpowerGroup reported net income of $427.6 million, or $5.30 per share, up from $288 million, or $3.62 per share, in 2013.

Operating income was $719.9 million in 2014, up from $511.9 million in the same period a year ago.

Revenue for the year was $20.8 billion, up 2.5 percent from $20.3 billion in 2013.

“We are pleased with our results in the 4th quarter, capping off a year of very good financial performance and margin expansion, continued progress on our strategic initiatives and leadership in workforce solutions,” said Jonas Prising, chief executive officer. “We enter into 2015 with a determination to drive profitable growth, while delivering on our long term ambitions and strategic objectives. We have the market opportunity, we have a strong plan and with our team of talented people across our great company, we will pursue our objectives with discipline, focus and passion for the business.   

“We are anticipating diluted earnings per share in the first quarter of 2015 to be in the range of 73 to 81 cents which includes an estimated unfavorable currency impact of 15 cents.”

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Milwaukee Biz Blog: A first glimpse inside Kenosha’s new Amazon fulfillment center
January 30, 2015 10:18 AM
It is the size of 28 football fields and boasts enough steel to build the Eiffel Tower twice.

The Amazon fulfillment center currently under construction in Kenosha is even bigger than most would imagine, and, for the first time ever on Thursday, the Seattle-based online retailer opened the center's doors for a sneak peek inside.

Read all about it in today’s Milwaukee Biz Blog by reporter Hilary Dickinson.

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Morning Headlines: UW System president fights back
January 30, 2015 12:16 PM
University of Wisconsin System president Ray Cross blasted Gov. Scott Walker's suggestion that faculty could lessen the impact of his proposed $300 million budget cut by teaching more classes.

Read more in today’s Wisconsin Morning Headlines.

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Nonprofit Weekly: Hebron House of Hospitality welcomes new executive director
January 30, 2015 12:17 PM
The Hebron House of Hospitality, a homeless shelter and housing resource located in Waukesha, kicked off the new year with a new executive director – Rev. Kris Androsky.

Read more in today’s Nonprofit Weekly.

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Marquette partners with Bucks to build athletic and research facility on campus
January 29, 2015 02:58 PM
Marquette University, in partnership with the Milwaukee Bucks, will likely fill a seven-and-a-half-acre plot of land acquired by the school last fall with a new facility housing intercollegiate and professional athletics as well as initiatives related to academic research and campus health and wellness.

University president Michael Lovell, Ph.D. announced the partnership and project plans Thursday afternoon during his first presidential address.

Lovell’s presidential address mimicked the style of his September inauguration as he expanded on several research, entrepreneurial and growth ventures he has teed up for Marquette.

The university’s new multi-purpose building, which has yet to be christened a price tag, was among the highlights of his remarks. The land expected to support the new facility is located in the 800 block of Michigan Street, adjacent to the eastern edge of Marquette’s campus in downtown Milwaukee and south of the Straz Tower residence hall building at 915 W. Wisconsin Ave.

The facility will be outfitted with indoor playing fields for the school’s lacrosse and soccer programs, an indoor track and what Marquette officials call “a world-class athletic performance research facility.” While enhancing student access to recreation and fitness opportunities, the project will also provide faculty and students a setting to perform research in sports performance, medicine, nutrition and rehabilitation. That research will benefit both Marquette student-athletes and professional athletes, according to the university.

Together, Marquette and the Bucks aim to make Milwaukee a place where athletes from around the country and world want to come to improve their athletic performance, Lovell said.

Marquette spokesperson Chris Stolarski said the Bucks also have an interest in using the facility for their own athletic purposes. What that use looks like has not been specifically defined, but one option could involve including training courts in the center.

“I think we’ll have to continue to test the site capacity,” said Lora Strigens, recently named associate vice president for finance and university architect. “Obviously a lacrosse field and indoor track take up…a significant amount of land area as would an indoor practice facility, but I think we’re exploring options and are open to looking at how we can accommodate both should that materialize.”

Marquette’s varsity basketball teams as well as its volleyball team will continue to train at their campus home, the Al McGuire Center, according to Bill Scholl, vice president and director of athletics at Marquette.

He expressed uncertainty in the prospect of the Bucks calling the new center one of its training facilities.

“Whether or not basketball becomes part of the rec sports mission down there (at the center), I don’t know,” Scholl said. “I mean it could, I guess.”

The Bucks, however, will be instrumental in the planning, development and construction of the new facility, Stolarski said, citing this partnership as one that Lovell hopes is ongoing.

The team’s leadership has not yet made a financial commitment to the joint project as the project remains in its preliminary stages, but owner Wes Edens is confident that an array of corporate partners will be interested in supporting the facility, according to Lovell.

Along with corporate partnerships, a pool of philanthropic gifts and research grants will back site development.

And if the two entities build the center right, they will pull “significant research dollars into the region,” Lovell said.

While Lovell was vague in communicating a timeline for the project, he and other Marquette officials plan to complete an “accelerated design phase” over the next 60 days, followed by a few months of detail design and programming.

The construction phase will likely span 18 to 24 months.

“Our goal obviously is to move as quickly as we can with this, so we’ll do everything we can to accelerate the design and programming of the process,” Strigens said.

It is not yet clear what part of the seven-and-a-half parcel the new center will be situated on, though Lovell said that based on initial estimates it occupy most of the land. The site will also include room for parking.

Construction of the new site means that two buildings currently occupying the land will need to be torn down, according to Lovell.

The new strategic partnership also cues an expectation that Marquette’s men’s basketball team will play in the Bucks’ new arena, Lovell said, though that has not been made a done deal.

“I’m not sure,” Lovell said in regard to the prospect of Marquette playing in a new arena. “As far as I’m concerned, yes.”

He added that Marquette athletics represents the Bradley Center’s second largest tenant and would contribute significantly to community efforts to populate a new arena with as much activity as possible.

Throughout conception and design discussions of an arena, the Bucks have included Marquette in “just about every step of the way,” Lovell said, adding that it is an exciting initiative for the university.

“Playing in a pro sports arena – it’s just a competitive advantage in terms of recruiting student athletes and what we can do in terms of outreach to our community and having that facility for our fan base and our alumni,” Lovell said.

Marquette has not been part of any discussions related to what kind of financial contribution it would offer a new arena, Lovell said, particularly since other developments likely surrounding the structure need to be taken into consideration.

“Once I think we get further down the road, we will have that opportunity to discuss that, but we haven’t had that yet,” he said.

Additional campus progress

Lovell also used his presidential address to discuss both progress and plans in line with his goal to transform Marquette into a more innovation-driven and entrepreneurial-minded institution. Along with doubling the university’s research funding throughout the next five years, Lovell will allocate more attention to the quality of its graduate education and entrepreneurship. On this note, Lovell plans to break the vice provost for research position and dean of the Graduate School position into two distinct roles. Jeanne Hossenlopp, Ph.D., who previously filled both positions as one, will serve as vice president for research and innovation. Kevin Gibson, Ed.M., Ph.D., associate dean of the Graduate School and associate professor of philosophy, has been appointed interim dean of the Graduate School.

The university president also plans to relocate the school’s Kohler Center for Entrepreneurship to a larger, more central space on campus. The center will be equipped with additional support staff who can advance its startup initiatives.

Another innovation priority centers on activating Marquette’s Strategic Innovation Fund, which has ballooned to $6 million since September. A University Innovation Council led by Hossenlopp will soon begin vetting about 200 proposals from campus faculty, staff and students ready to flesh out their innovation projects.

Off campus, Marquette aims to have a presence on the sixth floor of the Global Water Center, located in Walker’s Point, by the end of the year. University leaders and faculty, including Hossenlopp and university architect Strigens, are spearheading the design of the space Marquette occupies.

Lovell also made news with the announcement of a $5 million personal gift from Dr. Michael and Mrs. Billie Kubly, founders of the Charles E. Kubly Foundation, which is dedicated to helping individuals impacted by depression. The couple’s gift will be used toward the creation of the Charles E. Kubly Mental Health Research Center in the College of Health Sciences. Included in the Kublys’ donation is funding for an endowed senior professorship, funding for more faculty, and funding to cover cutting-edge cellular and molecular research concentrations.

The new center will require the university to raise another $10 million, according to Lovell.

Additionally, Marquette is moving closer to establishing a university police department, Lovell said. The structure of such a department is in its early stages. The process follows legislation signed into law last year enabling Marquette to “enter into agreement with either the state or a local law enforcement agency to operate a university police department,” the university said.

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Meijer to open four southeastern Wisconsin area stores this year
January 29, 2015 11:42 AM
Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Meijer Inc. announced Wednesday that it will open four new stores in southeastern Wisconsin this year. Meijer will open stores in Grafton and Kenosha in June and it will open stores in Oak Creek and Wauwatosa in August.

The four stores will be Meijer’s first in southeastern Wisconsin. Meijer stores offer both grocery and general merchandise. The Kenosha and Oak Creek stores will also have a convenience store and gas station.

Meijer said it plans to begin hiring more than 1,000 employees in March to work at the stores that it plans to open in the region this year.

The Grafton store will be located along Port Washington Road.
The Kenosha store will be southest of 76th Street and Green Bay Road.

The Oak Creek store will be part of the mixed-use Drexel Town Square development southwest of Drexel and Howell avenues.

The Wauwatosa store will be southeast of Burleigh Street and 112th Street, near the Mayfair Collection development.

Meijer currently has 213 stores throughout the Midwest. In addition to the four stores that it will open this year in southeast Wisconsin, Meijer also plans to eventually open stores in Waukesha, Greenfield and Sussex. The company says it plans to open two to three new Wisconsin stores each year for the next four years.

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Harley targets new markets as North American motorcycle sales slump
January 29, 2015 11:45 AM
Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc. today reported fourth quarter net income of $74.5 million, or 35 cents per share, down from $75.4 million, or 34 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2013.

Operating income was $98.3 million, down from $122 million in the same period a year ago. Motorcycle segment operating income declined 41 percent, which the company attributed to flat revenue, lower gross margin percent, higher year-over-year selling, general and administrative expense and lower operating margin percent.

Harley sold 28,075 motorcycles in the North America region in the fourth quarter, down from 28,573 in the fourth quarter of 2013. Internationally, however, the company sold 20,192 motorcycles, up 9 percent from 18,488 in the same period a year ago.

Revenue was flat in the fourth quarter, at $1.03 billion.

For the full year, Harley reported net income of $844.6 million, up from $733.9 million in 2013.

Full-year operating income was $1.3 billion, up from $1.2 billion last year.

Revenue for 2014 was $5.6 billion, up from $5.3 billion in 2013.

“Harley-Davidson achieved a great year of financial performance in 2014, with double-digit earnings growth, revenue topping $6 billion and continued strong improvement in margins,” said Keith Wandell, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Harley-Davidson Inc.

“We also continued to broaden our customer base and expand the reach of our brand through unrivaled products and experiences. In international markets, our dealers in Asia Pacific, (Europe, Middle East and Africa Region) and Latin America posted their highest new motorcycle sales on record for each region, delivering on our expectation for international sales to grow at a faster rate than U.S. sales. And in the U.S., for the third straight year, sales to our outreach customers grew at more than twice the rate of sales to core customers.

“Our success is the result of a clear focus on managing the company for the long term, building on our well-established strategies and driving continuous improvement in every aspect of our business.”

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