Biz Notes

Strategies for Philanthropy LLC

Strategies for Philanthropy LLC, Milwaukee, recently announced it has exceeded gross revenues of $1 million in its first six years. Recent clients include Esperanza Unida, and its Youth Pathways jobs program and The Talking Page, part of the National Illiteracy Action Project. Strategies for Philanthropy LLC will set up 50 after school community sites to help NIAP with its seven-year goal of eradicating illiteracy in the United States.

JNA Staffing

JNA Staffing, Milwaukee, has been named 2008 “Employer of the Year” by the United Migrant Opportunity Services (UMOS), for its commitment to reducing poverty and facilitating the transition of recipients of public assistance into permanent jobs. JNA has driven strategic alliances with partner corporations and educational institutions to achieve this result. JNA Staffing is the 14th largest staffing corporation in Milwaukee and currently places 580 workers per week in the manufacturing sector. JNA works with the underprivileged to help individuals acquire necessary job skills as well as temporary and permanent job placements.

Dewitt Ross & Stevens S.C.

Chambers USA, recently ranked DeWitt Ross & Stevens’ Intellectual Property group as one of the top two legal practice groups in the state of Wisconsin. The firm has offices in Madison and metro Milwaukee. The firm’s intellectual property law group is a full service practice, specializing in United States and foreign patents, trademarks, copyrights, trade secrets, licensing, litigation, unfair competition and related matters.

Michael Best & Friedrich LLP

Michael Best & Friedrich’s Intellectual Property Litigation Team was recently ranked among the most prestigious firms in the country. According to the July 2008 edition of IP Law & Business, Michael Best ranks 22nd in the nation for patent litigation in terms of the number of U.S. District Court cases filed in 2007, and 24th in the nation for the number of cases in which the firm represented the defendants that same year.

Feingold, Kohl pledge to fight for Great Lakes Compact

Wisconsin’s U.S. Senators Russ Feingold and Herb Kohl say they are part of a bipartisan coalition of members of Congress pledging to ratify the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact.

The compact is designed to protect the Great Lakes from water diversions to far-away dry areas and to regulate the use of Great Lakes water by areas just outside of the Great Lake basin, such as Waukesha County. The compact has been adopted by all of the Great Lakes states and Canadian provinces, but still must be adopted by Congress.

“I applaud all the Great Lakes states for this monumental agreement to protect the Great Lakes and I will work with my colleagues in Congress to ratify the compact at the federal level,” Feingold said. “Wisconsin’s economy and environment are closely tied to the health of the Great Lakes and this compact is critical to preserving the lakes’ for future generations.”

“Preserving the Great Lakes is essential to ensuring the economic vitality and environmental well being of Wisconsin and the greater region,” Kohl said. “Congress must follow the lead of the Great Lakes states and ratify this historic agreement to protect one of our nation’s most important assets.”

North Powerhouse building being torn down

The Brewery Works Inc. has determined that it is not feasible to redevelop the historic former North Powerhouse building, located just south of the new Manpower Inc. corporate headquarters building in downtown Milwaukee, and has begun demolition work on the five-story red brick structure.

“We’re tearing it down,” said Sam Denny, executive vice president and general manager of The Brewery Works. “We couldn’t make (the redevelopment plans) work.”

The Brewery Works, which owns the building and the Schlitz Park office complex, is owned by Milwaukee developers Gary Grunau and Scott Sampson.

Grunau and Sampson also developed the new Manpower headquarters, a four-story, 280,000-square-foot building that was completed last year. Originally that project was to include renovations of the North Powerhouse building into about 55,000 square feet of office space. The Brewery Works agreed to redevelop the North Powerhouse as a condition for Manpower agreeing to move from Glendale to the new downtown Milwaukee building.

Grunau and Sampson received $25.3 million in tax incremental financing from the city for the Manpower headquarters building project.

In September, Grunau said the North Powerhouse redevelopment would start later in the fall, but it was later determined that the renovation project wasn’t feasible, Denny said. The building is just a shell, with no floors on the inside and it has no other useful infrastructure, he said. It would be cost prohibitive to transform the structure into an office building, he said.

When Harley-Davidson was planning to put its museum at Schlitz Park, the building was considered for a hotel and restaurant, Denny said.

After the structure is demolished the site will be used for green space, not parking, and will be a “great site” for future development, Denny said.

Cereal manufacturer to open plant in Sussex

Richmond, British Columbia-based Nature’s Path Foods Inc. has acquired the former Kraft Tombstone Pizza facility in Sussex and plans to convert it to an organic cereal manufacturing facility. The company will invest about $25 million in the facility during the next year and a half.

Kraft closed the plant, located at W227 N6088 Sussex Road, last year.

“We are thrilled to become a part of the Sussex community and bring the spirit of our family-run business to the families that live and work here,” said Arran Stephens, Nature’s Path founder and CEO. “Building our plant in Sussex is not only about making cereal, it is about doing business in a socially responsible and more environmentally sustainable way. This new plant will help us to better serve the U.S. market east of the Rockies as we save precious resources and limit the miles our products need to travel.”

The company will receive a $250,000 training grant from the state of Wisconsin, Gov. Jim Doyle announced. The company will train at least 100 employees on new equipment and processes. The plant will create a minimum of 159 new jobs during the next year, Doyle said.

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