Douglas Dynamics acquires Iowa manufacturer
November 25, 2014 12:13 PM
Milwaukee-based Douglas Dynamics Inc. announced it has agreed to acquire Manchester, Iowa-based Henderson for about $95 million.

Henderson manufactures custom snow and ice control equipment solutions for heavy duty trucks. It serves state departments of transportation, counties and municipalities. Products include snow plows, ice control equipment, dump bodies, muni-bodies and replacement parts. It generated $76 million in net sales in the year ending Sept. 30.

Henderson has a 170,000-square-foot manufacturing facility where most of its more than 350 employees are based. It also has five truck equipment up-fit facilities in New York, Iowa, Ohio, New Jersey and Illinois that handle assembly and delivery of the trucks.

Douglas makes vehicle snow and ice attachments and equipment under the Blizzard, Fisher, Snowex and Western brands, turf care equipment under the Turfex brand, and industrial maintenance equipment under the Sweepex brand.

Douglas plans to close the acquisition by the end of the year. It will be financed through a combination of cash and the amendment of its existing term loan agreement.

"The acquisition aligns perfectly with our core business and adds a layer of predictability and stability to our business, which is highlighted by Henderson's excellent track record of 11 consecutive years of revenue growth," said James Janik, chairman, president, and chief executive officer of Douglas Dynamics. "Henderson is the industry leader in the heavy-duty truck segment of the snow and ice control market and has a different customer base and sales cycle as compared to our core business. Henderson works with the municipal budgeting and planning cycle which provides a much higher degree of revenue visibility with purchase decisions that are generally pre-planned and less driven by near-term weather conditions.

"The addition of Henderson cements Douglas Dynamics as the North American leader in snow and ice control across all truck segments. It expands our product portfolio, broadens our geographic footprint, and adds a dynamic and productive workforce and management team. We will also leverage our Douglas Dynamics Management System, including our lean manufacturing expertise, to work with Marty Ward, president and CEO of Henderson, and his leadership team to improve business efficiency and drive margin growth in the business."

"Douglas Dynamics' track record of success, customer centric focus, and culture of integrity make them the perfect partner for our business," Ward said. "Both businesses have strategic expertise in snow and ice control which can be leveraged to enhance the service and capabilities we provide to our customers and support our continued growth. We look forward to joining the Douglas Dynamics team and sharing expertise in 2015 and beyond."

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Alaska Airlines adds Milwaukee to Seattle flight
November 25, 2014 11:37 AM
Alaska Airlines has announced it will add a nonstop route from Milwaukee’s General Mitchell International Airport to Seattle beginning July 1, 2015. This is the airline’s first Milwaukee route.

Through a partnership with SkyWest Airlines, Alaska will add the route plus Seattle-Oklahoma City and Portland, Ore.-St. Louis routes on seven new Embraer E175 jets. The first three aircraft will be operational this summer, and the other four will go into service in the first quarter of 2016.

The Milwaukee-Seattle route will be offered once from each city per day, and introductory one-way fares will start at $119 for tickets purchased by Dec. 1 and travel completed between July 8 and Sept. 30, 2015.

Southwest Airlines also offers a Milwaukee-Seattle nonstop flight.

"The E175 is new for the Alaska brand and fills a specific need to serve 'long, thin routes' – destinations that are too distant for our regional aircraft, but currently don't have enough customer demand to fill a mainline jet," said Andrew Harrison, senior vice president of planning and revenue management for Alaska Airlines. "The smaller, but spacious, E175 jet will not only open up new cities, but provide feed traffic to our Northwest hubs, while giving customers a comfortable experience on these longer flights."

Today’s announcement continues a series of new routes for Mitchell International announced earlier this year. In September, Frontier Airlines announced new flights to Ft. Myers and Orlando, and this winter, Southwest, Delta, Frontier and AeroMexico will operate flights from Milwaukee to six destinations in Mexico and the Caribbean. Many of those flights are available through Funjet Vacations, a national travel firm headquartered in Milwaukee County. Earlier this month, Southwest Airlines announced a new nonstop flight from Milwaukee to San Diego beginning in 2015.

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Jewish Community Center announces leadership and brand changes
November 25, 2014 11:40 AM
After about a decade of living with the same branding, the Harry & Rose Samson Family Jewish Community Center has announced plans to adopt the brand of the Jewish Community Centers of North America.

The nonprofit organization and social service agency, which is committed to enriching the quality of Jewish life, according to its website, has also restructured its governance and leadership team. Mark Shapiro, previously JCC executive director, has been appointed president and chief executive officer of the organization. Peter Blair, formerly associate executive director, will now serve as chief operating officer. Harriet Rothman, who has been director of development for the past seven years, has been appointed chief development officer.
Tommy Jostad will remain chief financial officer, and Chad Tessmer, who has served the organization as director of marketing and communications, will function as chief marketing officer.
The JCC’s new brand, which features a white “J” against a blue background, will be implemented immediately and will be reflected in the organization’s publications and materials as well as on its website in the near future.
“This brand represents the JCC that we are today and the JCC of tomorrow,” Shapiro said in an announcement. “It embraces the inclusive nature of our Jewish values and traditions, it celebrates our professionalism, and it affirms the JCC’s place as a destination for excellence and aspirational living.”
“This is a brand evolution that was, frankly, a long time in coming,” said Tessmer, who was part of the national professional advisory group that conceived the brand. “We are blessed to serve this community as experts in wellness, education, camping and social services. To have a professional brand that matches our expertise is critical. Much like the community itself – the J is flexible, compassionate, and sets big goals.”
JCC is an affiliate of the JCC Association of North America, which helps more than 350 affiliates in the U.S. and Canada facilitate educational, cultural, social Jewish identity-building and recreational programming.

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Business coalition donates more than 4,000 pounds of food
November 25, 2014 12:16 PM
A band of area businesses delivered more than 4,000 pounds of food and other necessities to the New Berlin Food Pantry last week, the result of a collective food drive that ran from Oct. 15 to Nov. 15.

According to Jeanne Holden, director of the food pantry, the donation was the single largest the organization has ever received.

New Berlin-based Grounds Maintenance Services was among the participating businesses. The company delivered a dump truck full of donations to the pantry on Wednesday, and volunteers from many of the businesses involved in the drive helped unload donations and prepare them for sorting.

Along with canned and boxed food, the drive collected diapers, toilet paper, cleaning products and personal hygiene items. Those items will benefit individuals and families in need in Brookfield, New Berlin and Elm Grove, where the food pantry focuses its mission.

“We don’t really think about people going hungry in Brookfield, New Berlin and Elm Grove, which is probably because it’s never really talked about,” said Todd Ruedt, owner of Grounds Maintenance Services. “Everyone who joined in or donated to this effort can be proud that, together, we are helping the neediest in our communities, who are also our neighbors.”

The donations arrived at the start of one of the pantry’s most demanding seasons.

Other businesses that contributed to the food drive were: ActionCOACH of Elm Grove, Brookfield Dance Academy, Charlie’s East Coast Hair Designs, G2 Insurance Services, IMS Barter Trade Exchange, Movin’ & Lubin’, Shop to Carrie On, Soerens Ford, Source 1 Project Solutions, and The Oilerie Brookfield.

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BizTracker: Economy grew in 3rd quarter
November 25, 2014 11:36 AM
The Bureau of Economic Analysis revised its third quarter real Gross Domestic Product figure higher, with the U.S. economy growing an annualized rate of 3.9 percent.

It was originally estimated to have grown by 3.5 percent, and the latest figure exceeded consensus expectations, with economists anticipating a revision down to 3.3 percent. The revision reflected upward revisions for consumer and business spending and on inventory investment.

For more, read the BizTimes BizTracker.

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Milwaukee Biz Blog: Connect your dollars to your values
November 25, 2014 12:19 PM
A general focuses on the battlefield and where the enemy is coming from, while the soldier in the foxhole keeps his sight within a 10-yard perimeter. In a similar vein, business leaders must understand the lay of a more expansive external environment while others define and execute day-to-day tactics.

Read more in today’s Milwaukee Biz Blog by economist Kay Plantes.

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Morning Headlines: Pentair to layoff dozens of workers
November 25, 2014 12:20 PM
Pentair will be laying off between 51 and 60 hourly workers at its Delavan plant, according to a news release from the Department of Workforce Development.

Read more in today’s Wisconsin Morning Headlines.

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Money Weekly: Wisconsin banks report lower earnings
November 25, 2014 12:21 PM
Wisconsin banks reported combined net income of $726 million through the end of the third quarter, down from $736 million year-to-date in the third quarter of 2013, according to the Quarterly Banking Profile released today by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Read more in today’s Money Weekly.

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Cover story: The interview
November 24, 2014 11:47 AM
The recession of 2008 induced a widespread employer mentality of “my employees are lucky to have a job,” according to George Blomgren, culture strategy director at Milwaukee-based The Good Jobs.

However, as the employment climate has improved and a skills gap has pervaded several sectors, the fight for talent has granted top job candidates a new kind of selectivity, Blomgren said.

Read more in the cover story of the new issue of BizTimes Milwaukee.

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HomeGoods store added to Mayfair Collection lineup
November 24, 2014 11:49 AM
A 22,454-square-foot HomeGoods store will be part of the second phase of the Mayfair Collection development in Wauwatosa, project developer HSA Commercial Real Estate announced today.

The Mayfair Collection is a multi-phase, mixed-use development that is being built northeast of U.S. Highway 45 and Burleigh Street in Wauwatosa. The first phase of the project opened earlier this year with tenants that include Nordstrom Rack and Saks Fifth Avenue OFF 5TH.

The HomeGoods store is part of the project’s second phase, which is under construction and will be anchored by a 45,150-square-foot Whole Foods grocery store. Plans for the second phase of The Mayfair Collection also include approximately 50,000 square feet of junior anchor retail space, a mix of upscale bars and restaurants (including three from The Bartolotta Restaurants), and a 140-room Hilton Homewood Suites hotel.

HomeGoods is an off-price home furnishings and accessories retailer with more than 400 locations. It will open at the Mayfair Collection in the fall 2015, and it will be the company’s second store in the Milwaukee area. The only HomeGoods location currently open in the area is in West Allis.

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Schroeder passes reins of law firm to Yentz
November 24, 2014 11:52 AM
The Schroeder Group S.C. Attorneys at Law has adopted a new management structure that will transfer operational direction of the Waukesha firm to president and attorney John Yentz from founder Stuart Schroeder, who will remain as a practicing attorney.

Schroeder, who founded TSG in 1998, says his decision to sell his shares back to the firm to facilitate the change was motivated solely by personal reasons.

“This is what happens when grandchildren come into the picture,” Schroeder joked in reflecting upon his decision. “Actually this is the end of a process that began a number of years ago and will allow me to continue practicing law without management responsibilities.”

Yentz, who became TSG’s president in 2003, says the firm will continue to operate under the same guiding service principles.

“Stuart’s role may be different, but nothing’s changed in terms of what’s always made our firm successful,” Yentz said. “Our service philosophy and commitment to advising and providing the right solutions to our clients remains at the heart of everything we do.”

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Newsmaker Luncheon to feature Latino panel
November 24, 2014 11:54 AM
The Milwaukee Press Club will present a Newsmaker Luncheon to provide a forum for Milwaukee's Latino community to speak out about President Barack Obama's plans to take executive action to shield millions of undocumented immigrants from deportation.

The public is invited to attend the event on Wednesday, Nov. 26, from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the Newsroom Pub in downtown Milwaukee at 137 E. Wells St. The panel of Milwaukee Latino leaders at the Newsmaker Luncheon will include: Griselda Aldrete, executive director of the Hispanic Professionals of Greater Milwaukee; Ricardo Diaz, executive director of the United Community Center; Darryl Morin, national vice president of the League of United Latin American Citizens; and Joe Rivas, immigration attorney at Hochstatter, McCarthy, Rivas & Runde S.C.

Obama recently announced plans to make as many as 4 million immigrants eligible for temporary protected status. He also will take steps to expand visas for high-tech workers, modify federal immigrant detention procedures and add resources to strengthen border security. Obama plans to provide administrative relief to illegal-immigrant parents of children who are U.S. citizens or legal permanent residents, an adult population that reaches an estimated 3.71 million.

Many of those who receive administrative relief also will be eligible to apply for work permits. Obama also plans to expand a 2012 program that has deferred the deportations of nearly 600,000 younger immigrants known as “dreamers” who were brought into the country illegally as children.

Critics of Obama’s plans say he is overreaching his Constitutional authority by bypassing Congress and taking executive action.

To register to attend the Newsmaker Luncheon, visit

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Greater Brookfield Chamber elects board directors
November 24, 2014 11:58 AM
The Greater Brookfield Chamber of Commerce announced its 2015 board of directors during its 57th annual meeting held on Nov. 19 at the Westmoor Country Club in Brookfield.

Bob Suycott of Willis of Wisconsin in Brookfield is board chair, and Steve Miazga of R.A. Smith National in Brookfield is past board chair.
New to the board are Anthony Calvino of FedEx Smart Post in New Berlin, Matt Geik of G&G Juice Co. (Jamba Juice) in Brookfield, and Allison Quartuccio of Denali Realty in Elm Grove.
Additional board directors include Derek Berube of First Bank Financial Centre in Brookfield; Lynn Braden of Winter, Kloman, Moter & Repp, S.C. in Brookfield; Lori Choinski of Gerald Nell Inc. in Waukesha; Spence Mather of Securant Bank & Trust in Hartland; Tiffany Mitchell-Detvan of Edward Jones Investments in Greenfield; Mark Ostendorf of Residence Inn by Marriott in Brookfield; Jackie Ruppel of Johnson Bank in Brookfield; and Gjeret Stein of Sensible Gurus in Brookfield.
The chamber also recognized Quartuccio as “Chamber Volunteer of the Year” and Judi Murphy of Murphy Associates in Brookfield as “Chamber Champion” during the annual meeting.
The two were honored for “their outstanding contributions to the chamber, its programs and its members,” said Carol White, chamber president and CEO.

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Gitomer: It's Thanksgiving. Give thanks, or say thanks?
November 24, 2014 11:59 AM
It’s Thanksgiving! It’s the coolest holiday of the year to me. I love Thanksgiving. Food, family, you name it. It’s a time to be thankful.

But I want to challenge you on the way that you’re thankful, and I want to give you some things to think about during this holiday season - the kickoff to the holiday season, Thanksgiving. (or is it now Halloween?)

Read more in today’s Small Biz Strategies by Jeffrey Gitomer.

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Biz Blog: Immigration changes will affect employers and employees
November 24, 2014 12:01 PM
President Barack Obama announced sweeping new administrative reforms to the way current immigration laws are enforced. Politics aside, there are a number of changes to the ways these new rules will be administered. Some will occur quickly, but others will take months.

Read more in today’s Milwaukee Biz Blog by attorney Grant Sovern of Quarles & Brady.

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