Biz Notes

An online social media community created by the Milwaukee School of Engineering and 7Summits has been recognized with a national award, the Forrester Groundswell Award, for its innovative approach to connecting prospective MSOE students with staff on campus. The private social media portal, known as Bridge Social Community, launched in October 2010 with an intent to open up a new channel through which prospective students could learn about MSOE and its student life. MSOE and 7Summits, which established a partnership in spring 2010, have expanded Bridge to now include an additional social media space called Hub where current MSOE students, faculty, staff, alumni and community partners can interact. The 2013 Forrester Groundswell Award honored the original version of Bridge, Bridge 1.0, in the Social Depth Marketing Category. The award program, which reviewed about 150 social media project entries this year, spotlights projects that leverage social media to meet or exceed organizational objectives.

Racine Metal-Fab

Kim Nichols, chief executive officer and owner of Racine Metal-Fab, has been named the Racine Area Manufacturers and Commerce (RAMAC) Business Person of the Year. The award was presented to Nichols at the 31st annual RAMAC Business Awards, during which the organization saluted local businesses and individuals for positively impacting the community through their success in business. Racine Metal-Fab operates out of a new 75,000-square-foot facility and, within the past few years, has doubled its sales and boosted its workforce by more than 25 employees.

A.O. Smith

Paul Jones, executive chairman of Milwaukee-based A.O. Smith Corp., has been designated the National EY Entrepreneur of the Year 2013 Distribution and Manufacturing Award winner. The national award honors entrepreneurial leaders who demonstrate innovation, financial success and personal commitment within the businesses they run. Award winners were selected by an independent panel of judges and from a pool of more than 250 regional award recipients. Jones was selected in part for his guidance in growing A.O. Smith Corp. internationally in China and India. When Jones joined A.O. Smith, the water heater manufacturing company had 8 percent market share in China. Today, it has 25 percent market share. The company also has manufacturing operations in the United States, Canada, Mexico and Europe and sells and distributes its products in more than 60 countries.

Roll Innovation

Milwaukee-based Roll Mobile is changing its name to Roll Innovation. The new name underscores the digital development and marketing agency’s efforts to grow its services beyond mobile solutions. Along with web and mobile development guidance, the company will specialize in digital media strategy and execution and will assist companies with internal team projects. Services will include the development and design of responsive and mobile websites, native and web-based apps and content management system (CMS) implementation, including Drupal, WordPress, Joomla and custom CMS solutions. The company will also offer creative production and media campaign services and has experience with HTML5, Flash, video and audio implementation. Its solutions cater to Android, iOS, mobile web and responsive websites.

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