Biz notes

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:39 pm

Germantown manufacturer to expand

Precision Innovations Inc., a Germantown-based manufacturer of precision plastic and non-ferrous metal components for the medical, electrical and military industries, will open a new manufacturing facility in the Town of Rome in Adams County in October.

The company has purchased a 15,000-square-foot building in Rome and on Wednesday purchased more than $1 million worth of machinery for the new plant. By October, the company plans to have 15 to 25 employees working in Adams County.

Precision Innovations’ 32,000-square-foot facility in Germantown, with about 45 employees, has seen 37 percent annual growth in business over the past three years, according to Gregory Marx, chairman and co-owner of Precision Innovations.

The company has had difficulty finding experienced, well-trained machinists in the Milwaukee area and believes it will have more success in Adams County, he said.

“We’re trying to capitalize on some of the layoffs up there,” Marx said. “There’s a well- trained, disciplined workforce up there, looking to say in that type of environment. We want to take advantage of that.”

His wife, Cherylanne Marx, is president of the firm. The Germantown facility will remain the company’s main production facility and headquarters.

Gregory Marx said Adams County and the Town of Rome welcomed his company’s expansion and assisted in the purchase of the building.

The Marx family also owns two other businesses: Business Associates Inc., a crises management firm; and PerMar, a manufacturer of countertops and cabinetry for laboratory settings. Each of those companies also will have a small presence in the Adams County facility.

Olympia Resort expands management team

Olympia Resort & Conference Center in Oconomowoc is expanding its management team as it prepares to break ground for a multi-million dollar renovation this fall.

Owner Rick Eckert plans to invest $10 million to $12 million to renovate the complex near Highway 67 along Interstate 94. Eckert’s plans include construction of a new 80-room condotel and a 10,000-square-foot outdoor event tent. A condotel is a hotel, but the rooms are sold to buyers. The owners of the rooms participate in a rental program when they are not using the rooms and share the revenues with the owners of the resort.

Olympia announced this week that its expanded management team includes: Kris Mosier, director of sales and catering; Jill Andruscavage, sales manager; Justin Karides, chief engineer; Terri Lindemann, spa manager; Jim Bomm, outlet manager; Crystal Benson, social catering manager; Kelly Harrison, corporate catering manager; Jeff Brunk, director of banquets; Naomi Sikora, front office manager; and Renelle Murphy, executive housekeeping director.

Mike Barton, vice president and general manager of Olympia, said, “Along with the entire management team, these individuals bring exemplary credentials to the resort and we are extremely pleased they will be an integral part of our success moving forward.”

Kim Munro, human resources director of Olympia, said, “The management team that we have put together is definitely sure to have some fun, while working together towards overall team success at Olympia.”

Summit will help women advance as executives

Oconomowoc-based consultant and author Susan Marshall will be the closing speaker of the fourth annual Women’s Executive Leadership Summit presented by the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Business Executive Education program.

The event will take place Oct. 5-6 at Fluno Center for Executive Education on the U.W. campus in Madison. Pre-summit workshops will be presented Oct. 4.

Marshall is the founder of Executive Advisor LLC and the author of “How to Grow a Backbone: 10 Strategies for Gaining Power and Influence at Work.”

Marshall works with companies to help them develop their young executives. She has been a consultant for corporations such as General Motors, Nestle, Suburu, Harley-Davidson, Apple and Hewitt Associates.

The summit, which is designed to help women advance as business executives, will feature workshops and a series of speakers. Welcome remarks will be given by Michael Knetter, dean of the U.W. School of Business.

The fee to attend the summit is $1,495. To register, contact Mary Stoffel at (608) 441-7330 or 800-292-8964. She can also be reached at Additional information is available at

Marshall led a seminar for young executives at the Small Business Times Business & Technology Expo this year. Knetter is a featured speaker annually at the Northern Trust Economic Trends Breakfast presented by SBT.

Town Bank expands board

Town Bank has expanded it board of directors to include William Niemann and Harold Rose.

Niemann is the executive vice president of Pabst Farms Inc., Oconomowoc’s 1500-acre residential and upscale commercial development. Rose is the owner of Rose Properties in Brookfield, which owns and manages a portfolio of office, industrial and retail properties in five states.

“We are very fortunate to have these two high caliber individuals joining our board,” said Jay Mack, president and chief executive officer of Town Bank, which was founded as Delafield State Bank and is building new corporate headquarters in Hartland. “Bill and Harold each bring unique skill sets to Town Bank, and I expect they will both make a valuable contribution to our organization.”

Additional information about the bank is available at

New restaurants to open at Brookfield Square in 2007

The redevelopment and expansion of Brookfield Square will continue in 2007 with four new restaurants and an upscale specialty grocer.

The shopping mall’s owner, Chattanooga, Tenn.-based CBL & Associates Properties Inc., today announced that site work has begun to accommodate the openings of the following restaurants: Abuelo’s Mexican Food Embassy; Claim Jumper Restaurant; Flemings Steakhouse and Wine Bar; and Mitchell’s Fish Market

In addition, The Fresh Market will be constructed on a peripheral pad next to the intersection of Bluemound Road and Main Street in Brookfield. The Fresh Market is a privately held company that was founded in 1982 by the Berry Family. The Fresh Market is known for its variety of specialty items and high-quality certified meats and poultry. The store’s seafood is chemical-free and fresh, and the setting has a European motif.

“We are extremely excited to bring these four prominent restaurants and upscale specialty grocer to Brookfield Square,” said Stephen Lebovitz, president of CBL & Associates Properties. “Three of the restaurants, Claim Jumper, Flemings and Mitchell’s Fish Market, are new to CBL’s portfolio of properties. Brookfield Square is an ideal example of what we are doing at a number of our malls, which includes adding restaurant and entertainment options to enhance the shopper’s overall experience.”

The additions are part of CBL’s ongoing improvements at Brookfield Square. In 2005, CBL redeveloped approximately 44,000 square feet of space for the addition of Barnes & Noble and Bravo! located on the mall’s east side.

Several new retailers also have opened at Brookfield Square, including Wisconsin’s first H & M store. CBL will develop 20,000 square feet of peripheral space to be used for freestanding businesses. The space will be located next to Flemings.

CBL owns and manages five other regional malls in Wisconsin, including the Janesville Mall in Janesville, the East Towne and West Towne Malls in Madison, the Regency Mall in Racine and the Wausau Center in Wausau.

Waukesha business venture promotes accessibility

In a cooperative effort, the Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce (WCCC), the Adaptive Community Approach Program (ACAP) and IndependenceFirst have developed a business guide to improving accessibility to businesses in Waukesha County.

The brochure is available at the Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce, ACAP and IndependenceFirst and will also be distributed in the business community soon.

The purpose of this program is to create awareness and initiate change in the Waukesha area business community to guarantee opportunities for full and equal participation for all people.

Mike Pjevach, chairman of the board of directors for the WCCC, said, “Accessibility needs to be a consideration for all businesses, not just those that work directly with their customers. Anything we can do to help inform businesses about accessibility will help.”

As a part of the effort, recognition awards will be given to area businesses that demonstrate a commitment to accessibility. Nominations for the awards can be sent to: Doreen Eicher of the ACAP at (262) 521-1120; Patti Wallner of the WCCC at (262) 542-4249 or; or Diana Sullivan of IndependenceFirst at (414) 291-7520 or

Funding for this project comes from the Wisconsin Council for Developmental Disabilities (WCDD).

Dinner by Design to open more Wisconsin kitchens

Dinner by Design will open its 13th Wisconsin location in Greenfield this weekend at 4842 S. 76th St.

The company, which helps time-strapped families prepare dinner entrees in advance, has grown with locations in Brookfield, Delafield, Glendale, Grafton, Kenosha, Menomonee Falls, New Berlin, Oak Creek, Racine, Kenosha, Waukesha and Ashwaubenon.

The Grayslake, Ill.-based firm plans to open additional kitchens in Milwaukee’s Bay View neighborhood, Sun Prairie and Wauwatosa.

“We’re seeing growing evidence that people need convenience and want to bring their families back to the table with healthy dinners,” said Julie Duffy, president and founder of Dinner by Design.  “As a result, the meal assembly business is growing in Wisconsin and across the country.”

The average price of a 12-entrees made at Dinner by Design is around $200. Each regular sized entrée serves 4-6 people, translating into around $3 a serving. 

For more information about Dinner by Design, its monthly menus and Wisconsin locations, go to

Pewaukee chamber plans lake cruise

Pewaukee business executives are invited to partake in the Pewaukee Lake Cruise on Thursday, Sept. 14.

The cruise will be presented by the Pewaukee Chamber of Commerce from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. in conjunction with Prestige Yacht Cruises. Attendees are asked to meet at Lakeview Lanes at least 30 minutes before departure.

The fees will be $50 per person or $90 per couple and will include the cruise, appetizers and a door prize ticket.

Additional information is available by contacting Amy Kommer, executive director of the chamber, at (262) 691-8851 or

Hospital CEO named to Washington County development board

Gregory Banaszynski, chief executive officer of SynergyHealth, has joined the Washington County Economic Development Corp.’s board of directors.

The organization is a nonprofit, private-public corporation established in December 2005 to focus on regional economic development issues. The corporation works with the county, local municipalities and economic development organizations to develop strategies and to create a positive climate for business expansion, retention and attraction in Washington County and southeastern Wisconsin.

Banaszynski joined SynergyHealth in February 2006 after serving as president and CEO of Fort Healthcare in Fort Atkinson.

SynergyHealth is a regional health system that includes St. Joseph’s Hospital in Jackson, the West Bend Clinic and the SynergyHealth Foundation.

Mequon-Thiensville Chamber to honor businesses

The Mequon-Thiensville Chamber of Commerce & Industry will conduct its annual awards dinner on Thursday, Sept. 14 at 6 p.m. in the Four Points Sheraton Milwaukee North.

The people and businesses to be honored this year by the group include: Business of the Year, Lakeside Development Co. Inc.; Small Business, Lustre Color Printing & Graphics; Citizen of the Year, Bob Blazich; and Town Center Spirit Award, The Hoff Group.

The cost to attend is $30 per person, and reservations are required. For additional information, contact the chamber office at (262) 512-9358 or

Thiensville lands federal grant for flood mitigation project

Thiensville has received a federal grant of more than $1.7 million for a project to minimize flooding in the village.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recently released the Pre-Disaster Mitigation-Competitive Grant Program (PDMC) funds to the Ozaukee County village.

The grant application was prepared for the village by Ruekert/Mielke Engineering of Waukesha. Thiensville’s $2.5 million project is designed to provide improved flood conveyance along Pigeon Creek and create additional water storage to protect surrounding homes and businesses from flooding, and to relieve sanitary sewer back-up.

Acting village engineer Michael Campbell, who also is chief operating officer at Ruekert/Mielke, said the grant enables Thiensville to move forward with aggressive flood control measures.

“To put this grant in perspective, the dollar amount is almost as large as the annual village tax levy,” Campbell said.

Jockey grows its home party sales program

Jockey International Inc. is celebrating a strong inaugural year for its Jockey Person to Person home sales program.

Jockey Person to Person Inc. is a party plan business and a wholly-owned subsidiary of Kenosha-based Jockey International Inc. The Person to Person business features a unique product line of women’s intimate apparel, sleepwear, activewear, men’s underwear and a new collection of “comfort extras.” The products are available through an in-home party setting with a Jockey “comfort specialist.”

“Our business is off to a phenomenal start, only exceeded by your passion and commitment,” Debra Waller, Jockey Person to Person founder and Jockey International Inc. chairman and chief executive officer, said to the Person to Person sales specialists attending a three-day convention recently in Chicago. “I am proud that you have embraced our vision of creating comfort through career opportunities that balance family and work. You have made it a reality.”

Jockey said the new program achieved a record month of recruiting sales specialists in July. For additional information, visit

Zilber closes on Pabst brewery purchase

Joseph Zilber, chairman and founder of Milwaukee-based Zilber Ltd., announced that he has closed on his purchase of the former Pabst brewery property in downtown Milwaukee. The purchase price was not disclosed.

Zilber bought the property from Juneau Avenue Partners LLC, which included Wispark LLC (the real estate subsidiary of Wisconsin Energy Corp.) and The Ferchill Group of Cleveland. Juneau Avenue Partners had acquired the former Pabst property in 2002 for about $10 million and spent millions to prepare the site for development, but ultimately could not obtain the tax incremental financing (TIF) it sought from the City of Milwaukee.

“I have lived in Milwaukee for almost 89 years and I felt it was my duty and my responsibility, as a citizen of this community, to take this piece of our history and do everything I can to preserve, protect and return it to economic viability,” Zilber said. “Needless to say, with over 1.4 million square feet of space, devising a plan to convert that space to usable, productive, desirable housing, office, retail and industrial space has presented a formidable challenge.”

The 21-acre property is northwest of West Highland Avenue and North Eighth Street. It has 27 buildings that have been mostly vacant since Pabst shut down the brewery about 10 years ago.

Juneau Avenue Partners wanted to do a $317 million transformation of the property into an entertainment complex called PabstCity with stores, restaurants, office space, residences and entertainment venues including a Marcus movie theater and a House of Blues. However, Milwaukee aldermen last year rejected a proposal to provide $41 million, most in tax incremental financing, for the project.

Negotiations between Zilber Ltd. and Juneau Avenue Partners had been ongoing since November, when Zilber Ltd. announced its plans to acquire the property and redevelop it into an urban neighborhood with a mix of residential, office and retail space. The development could also include a hotel, national training center, community oriented facilities and parks.

“The love I have for those silos, I’ll make sure it’s something extravagant,” Zilber said.

Today, Zilber said a public-private partnership is critical to redevelop the former Pabst property. Zilber said he plans to submit an application soon to the city for TIF for the project.

“We anticipate that the amount of TIF that we will be submitting to the Common Council will be significantly less than that submitted in the previous plan,” Zilber said.

If he gains approval from the city to proceed, Zilber said infrastructure and remediation work at the site could begin by the end of the year.

Zilber plans to divide the former Pabst property up into smaller pieces and offer some parts for sale to other developers. Zilber said he wants to preserve as many of the existing buildings on the former Pabst site as possible.

Madison-based Gorman & Co. plans to redevelop four acres of the property. Cincinnati Restaurant Group Inc. plans to open a Hofbrauhaus microbrewery in a portion of the Pabst brewery site at 901-917 W. Juneau Ave. owned by Jim Haertel, president of Brew City Redevelopment Group.

Haertel said he is still in litigation with Juneau Avenue Partners to secure title to his parts of the Pabst site.

Zilber, who is 89 years old, concluded his announcement by saying he intends to have a 100th birthday at the Pabst site and hopes the community will join him in the celebration.

Additional information about Zilber’s plans for the project is available at

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