Biz Notes

Graphic Systems Corp.

Graphics Systems Corp., Milwaukee, recently announced the SolidWorks 2009 Midwest Premiere Oct. 1-8.  These events are hosted in four locations across the Upper Midwest and focus on the release of the engineering 3D CAD (computer-aided design) software, SolidWorks 2009. These free seminars cover topics and content designed to help engineers save time and money in designing better products. The SolidWorks 2009 Midwest Premiere will also highlight several additional products for companies that design their own products. Participants can register for SolidWorks 2009 Midwest Premiere events hosted at the following locations: the Harley-Davidson Museum in Milwaukee; Dave & Buster’s in Addison, Ill.; Monona Terrace in Madison, and Lambeau Field in Green Bay. All event locations are free of charge and include complimentary lunch and vender giveaways. More information is available at

Robert W. Baird & Company

Baird, Milwaukee, was recently named a winner of the 2008 Alfred P. Sloan Award for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility. The Alfred P. Sloan Awards for Business Excellence in Workplace Flexibility are awarded as part of the When Work Works project, an ongoing initiative of Families and Work Institute, the Institute for a Competitive Workforce (ICW), an affiliate of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Twiga Foundation. Through When Work Works, these partner organizations provide research, resources, and recognition to employers nationwide, and share the results of research on creating effective and flexible workplaces that meet the needs of the 21st century. The Sloan Awards recognize organizations dedicated to making work “work” for both the employer and the employees. Baird offers flexible work arrangements, such as part-time/reduced hours, job sharing, compressed workweeks, flexible hours, telecommuting and remote office locations, which meet employees’ needs while also meeting Baird’s business needs. More than 26 percent of Baird’s non-commissioned work force has a formalized flexible work arrangement, according to an internal survey conducted last year. In addition, many other associates have informally arranged some form of flexible work schedule with their manager that is not reflected in that number.

Employees also receive an additional paid day off each year to perform volunteer service through the “Baird Cares” program.

Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association

The Wisconsin Motor Carriers Association recently selected Kathy Bornheimer, K.B. & Associates to conduct Work Makes Me Sick (Prescribe Something Quick!) as a session for their annual state conference held in the Wisconsin Dells on Oct. 15-17. The program has been developed from the book by the same title, which she co-authored. This workshop focuses on practical solutions for handling and reducing workplace stress in the trucking industry.

Sprecher Brewing Company

Sprecher Brewing Company, Glendale, recently won eight medals at the 2008 Los Angeles International Beer Competition.  Two beers, Pipers Scotch Ale and Abbey Triple, made it to the final round of 12 for the Best of Show award. The gold medal winners included: Abbey Triple, Belgian-Style Abbey Ale, Imperial Stout, Pipers Scotch Ale Strong Scotch Ale and, Special Amber, Vienna-Style Lager. The silver medal winners included: Bourbon Imperial Stout, Wood and Barrel Aged Beers, and IPA2, English-Style IPA. The bronze medal winners included the Mai Bock, Bock Beers, and the Micro-Light, English Summer Ale.

Enviro-Safe Consulting, LLC,

Enviro-Safe Consulting, Brookfield, was recently selected for the “2008 Best of Brookfield Award” in the Environmental and Ecological Services category by the U.S. Local Business Association (USLBA). The USLBA “Best of Local Business” Award Program recognizes outstanding local businesses throughout the country. Each year, the USLBA identifies companies that achieve exceptional marketing success in their local community and business category. These are local companies that enhance the positive image of small business through service to their customers and community.

Callen Construction Inc.

Callen Construction Inc., Muskego, was recently awarded 2008 Master Elit Excellence Awards from GAF Materials Corporation, Wayne N.J. The company received a Training Excellence Award, which required Callen Construction to prove its commitment to training and continuous improvement. The company did so by exceeding the minimum requirement of 10 employees who passed the Pro Field Guide test or attended a 2008 CARE seminar. Callen Construction also received an Installation Excellence Award, which recognizes companies that consistently install with a high level of quality. This was done by exceeding the minimum requirement of 15 Golden Pledge Ltd. Warranty jobs that receive a perfect score of 10 during 2008. Callen Construction was also required to have a clean record – with no installation complaints – and to follow up on punch list items.

HealthReach Rehabilitation

Brookfield-based HealthReach Rehabilitation’s KidReach Foundation was recently the recipient of proceeds from the recently held “Journey for Jay” event. Jay Balchunas, a Wisconsin Department of Justice undercover agent, was shot during an off duty robbery at a Milwaukee gas station on October 29, 2004. He died from his wounds a few days later. Jay’s friends sponsor a motorcycle ride in his memory each year, with the proceeds going to a selected charity. This year, a donation of $10,300 is being made to the KidReach Foundation. The KidReach Foundation is a non-profit organization committed to helping support families and children with special needs, one family and one child at a time. The goal is for each child to reach his or her full potential by providing families and children the resources and opportunities needed to succeed. The KidReach Foundation supports children and families by offering: physical, occupational and speech therapy services; specialty programs; equipment for children with special needs; lending library of equipment and toys; KidReach Foundation Camp; community activities, and programs to help bridge the gap between school and home programs for children with special needs. More information about the KidReach Foundation can be obtained by calling (262) 780-0707.

Bemis to close Menomonee Falls plant

Bemis Company Inc. plans to close its Kelch Division manufacturing and distribution plant in Menomonee Falls, eliminating 137 jobs.

The Sheboygan Falls-based toilet seat manufacturing company filed a notice to the state about its intentions to close the factory at N85 W12545 Westbrook Crossing.

The layoffs will occur in phases and will be finished by Feb. 28, 2009.

The company said the affected employees have not bumping rights and none of them are represented

by a union.

Mandel Group begins restoration of water tower

Mandel Group Inc. announced that it has begun restoration of a downtown Milwaukee icon, the old Pfister and Vogel Tannery water tower.

The water tower is original to the tannery and is being saved and restored as an artifact and reminder of the years of tannery operations at the property. The site is the location for a new Mandel development, The North End, located at the corner of Water and Pleasant streets in downtown Milwaukee.

The water tower was moved to its final location and permanent foundation earlier this summer. The tower is being painted and will have graphics and lighting added as part of the restoration process.

All of the restoration work is being completed by city-certified, local emerging business enterprise (EBE) firms. Mandel Group is covering all of the costs of the restoration work with private funds.

Doyle appoints Leinenkugel as commerce secretary

Wisconsin Gov. Jim Doyle announced the appointment of Richard J. Leinenkugel as the secretary of the Department of Commerce.

Leinenkugel, currently the vice president of sales and marketing at the Jacob Leinenkugel Brewing Company, will begin serving on Sept. 29.

“Dick Leinenkugel comes from a family that has for generations run the kind of business we must have here in Wisconsin to grow our economy – producing a top quality product made by the best workers in the world,” Doyle said. “Dick is a leader of one of the state’s marquee companies. He knows what it takes for a company to succeed in this state and I am confident his talent and experience are what we need to help create the jobs of tomorrow and move our economy forward.”

“I appreciate Gov. Doyle’s confidence in me and am delighted to have the opportunity to lead the Department of Commerce,” Leinenkugel said. “I look forward to working with my colleagues at Commerce to serve our great state of Wisconsin and help create jobs and grow our economy. I am energized to have this opportunity to give back to the state that has been so good to our family for over 141 years and to me personally.”

Leinenkugel, 50, graduated Magna Cum Laude from Marquette University with a bachelor of science degree in business administration. He went on to serve as an officer in the United States Marine Corps.

Leinenkugel succeeds Jack Fisher, who resigned July 16 amid alleged excessive travel expenses.

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