Biz Notes

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:40 pm

Jewish Family Services

Jewish Family Services (JFS), Milwaukee, received a $5,000 grant from the Peck Foundation, Milwaukee, to support the JFS Keshet program. Keshet is a Jewish educational program established to serve children with social, emotional, cognitive and developmental disabilities. Keshet provides individualized service in nursery schools, Milwaukee Jewish day schools and all Milwaukee-area synagogues. The services provided to Keshet students include individual curriculum plans, educational aides both in regular classrooms and in resource rooms, assistance in synagogue Sunday schools, and in the B’nai Mitzvah program.

R.A. Smith & Associates Inc.

R.A. Smith & Associates Inc., Brookfield was named one of the “best civil engineering firms to work for” by CE News magazine for 2006. R.A. Smith & Associates ranked No. 10 nationwide among medium-sized companies with 101 to 499 employees and No. 24 overall out of the 50 companies selected. R.A. Smith & Associates was the only company in Wisconsin on the list.


The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater received a $75,000 gift from Kolb+Co., Brookfield, in support of the new College of Business and Economics building and student scholarships. The gift will provide a $2,000 Kolb+Co. Endowed Scholarship in Accounting, as well as two, $750 accounting scholarships annually over the next 10 years. The $41 million College of Business and Economics building will be completed by fall 2009. The building will include a state-of-the-art trading room, 38 hi-tech classrooms, a 400-seat auditorium, two 150-seat lecture halls, five computer labs, a center for entrepreneurial development, a global research center, a fiscal economic research center and an international studies room.

Milwaukee Downtown, Business Improvement District No.21

The International Downtown Association (IDA) awarded Milwaukee Downtown, Business Improvement District No. 21 a Downtown Achievement Award in marketing and communications for Snapshots: Downtown Exposed, which highlights downtown Milwaukee’s arts and entertainment scene, architecture, retail and behind-the-scenes contributors using a collection of black and white images by five photographers. The collection of photographs have become part of a traveling exhibit that has appeared in downtown office buildings, retail stores and civic and visitor centers throughout Milwaukee. The Historic Third Ward Association was also recognized in the national competition, receiving a “special achievement” award for “public space” in acknowledgement of the Historic Third Ward RiverWalk.

Wisconsin Restaurant Association

The Wisconsin Restaurant Association (WRA) Education Foundation, Madison, recognized Boelter Companies Inc., Milwaukee, with the “supplier” award as part of the Salute to Excellence Awards program. The WRA Education Foundation annually recognizes five individuals and one company for dedication and commitment to education in the restaurant industry. Boelter Companies is active in both WRA statewide and the Milwaukee Chapter and the American Culinary Federation. Representatives from the Boelter Companies have served on the WRA Education Foundation board of directors and have contributed to the new WRA office building fund. Boelter Companies also established the Fred W. Boelter Memorial WRA Scholarship to help students pursuing careers in the foodservice industry. Individuals recognized in the Salute to Excellence Awards program include: Chef James Nowak of the Hilton Milwaukee City Center, Milwaukee; Jim Marks of Riversite Restaurant and River Lane Inn, Brown Deer; Marita “Mic” Pietrykowski of Waukesha County Technical College; Tom Boyle (posthumous) of Society Insurance, Fond du Lac, and Jolene Goeden-Massuch of Watertown High School.

Orion Energy Systems

Orion Energy Systems, Plymouth, received a $500,000 Series C investment from Technology Transformation Venture Fund and Capvest Venture Fund of New Albany, Ohio. Capvest is a Midwest-based Small Business Investment Company (SBIC) providing equity capital for growth companies in the Midwest and is managed by William Custer and Jakki Haussler. The funding will support future growth for Orion, a manufacturer of energy products and services. In the last year, Orion lighting systems helped customers save more than $37 million and 600 million kilowatt hours (kWh). Based on EPA estimates, the current installations of Orion prevent 11.7 million tons of greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide) from being emitted into the atmosphere over the lifetime of the lighting fixture, the equivalent of 3.2 million tons of carbon. Other savings include the reduction of 50,880 tons of sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions, which affect acid rain; 24,540 tons of nitrous oxide (N2O), which is another greenhouse gas; and 444 pounds of mercury. The savings in electricity usage is the environmental equivalent of removing 1.7 million cars from the road, saving 992 million gallons of gasoline or 23.6 million barrels of oil, according to Orion.

Sales Progress LLC

Sales Progress LLC, Mequon, is currently offering a free sample of 7 Innovative Prospecting Techniques to Avoid Cold Calling, an interactive seminar, on its Web site, The seminar introduces individuals to techniques including a tool to use existing relationships to get in front of more than 300,000 prospects, a tool to promote business without leaving the office, and utilizing Google to generate leads. Sales Progress’ interactive format allows individuals to receive the seminar to their email inbox and view it at their convenience. The content can be viewed an unlimited number of times once an individual purchases an interview or seminar. Seminars and workshops are distributed on a per license basis but offer an inexpensive way to train staff.

Nothing Routine

Jon Helminiak, former assistant chancellor for development and alumni relations at UW-Milwaukee, released Nothing Routine, a travel memoir describing some of Helminiak’s adventure travel trips. Nothing Routine was published by Seaboard Press, the nonfiction imprint of James A. Rock & Co., Publishers, Rockville, Md. Nothing Routine is available at Harry W. Schwartz Bookshops, through the publisher’s Web site, or through Helminiak’s Web site, Helminiak is an instrument-rated pilot, a certified open water scuba diver and professional photographer.

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