Biz Notes

Koss Corp.
Milwaukee-based Koss Corp. has introduced a new line of earphones developed specifically for women through the collaborative efforts of Koss’ female designers and Olympic swimmer Dara Torres. The Koss Fit Series is available in two models. Koss FitClips consist of a new in-ear ported design and come in three sizes. The second model, Koss FitBuds, consists of the smallest earbuds Koss has ever designed. The buds are six millimeters in diameter, 33 percent smaller than the company’s average earbud, and are surrounded by a dual-injected, soft-rubberized housing. Both models have five color options. Consumers can also opt for a sweat-resistant coating that preserves the earbuds during vigorous activity.

GRAEF, headquartered in Milwaukee, has been honored by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC) with a “National Recognition” award for its engineering work on UW-Madison’s Union South Project. The redevelopment project was finished in 2011 and features a three-level entertainment center that spans 275,000 square feet. The site includes eight bowling lanes, a billiard room, a rock-climbing wall, a bar and grill, a 60-room campus hotel, and underground parking among other amenities. GRAEF accepted the award at the ACEC Engineering Excellence Awards Gala held in April in Washington, D.C.

Traction Factory
Traction Factory, a business development and communications company headquartered in Milwaukee, has received two international Business Marketing Association (BMA) B2 Awards for global business-to-business marketing. The awards recognize Traction Factory’s creative marketing efforts for Kenosha-based Snap-on Tools as well as the agency’s own video promotion. The business development and communications company has also received seven Bell Awards from Milwaukee’s BMA chapter. The local awards acknowledge Traction Factory’s creative marketing for Snap-on Tools; Snap-on Diagnostics; United Way of Greater Milwaukee; and Jalapena Nina’s LLC, based in Mason, Wis. BMA’s awards honor companies and agencies that have excelled in business-to-business communications. A panel of BMA judges determines award winners according to creativity and proven, measured business results.    

Baird has selected Gerald Gerndt as the 2013 recipient of the Brenton H. Rupple Citizenship Award, which represents the company’s most prestigious community service honor. The award, presented annually for the past 16 years, salutes the community service efforts of one Baird associate. Gerndt works as a managing director and financial advisor in Baird’s Milwaukee office and has been with the firm for more than a decade. As a Vietnam veteran and prisoner of war, Gerndt has supported other veterans through his involvement with Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing. The nonprofit organization, incorporated in Maryland, fosters rehabilitation of disabled military service personnel through fly fishing and other activities. Gerndt has also contributed time to the Foundation for Wildlife Conservation/Zoological Society of Milwaukee and the Wisconsin Philharmonic. He was honored at Baird’s Annual Meeting for All Associates held in April. In addition to recognizing Gerndt, Baird will donate funds through the Baird Foundation to a charity of his choosing.

Northwestern Mutual
Milwaukee-based Northwestern Mutual recently received national recognition from The Expect Miracles Foundation for raising funds for childhood cancer research through its Childhood Cancer Program. The foundation, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit that focuses on the fight against cancer within the finance community, highlighted Northwestern Mutual’s fundraising efforts with the Corporate Commitment Award. The Childhood Cancer Program, which Northwestern Mutual launched in July 2012 in partnership with Alex’s Lemonade Stand Foundation and the Starlight Children’s Foundation, aims to support research toward a cure for childhood cancer and help families impacted by the disease. The Expect Miracles Foundation awarded Northwestern Mutual at Institutional Investor’s 20th annual Mutual Fund Industry Awards Gala held in April in New York.   

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