Biz notes

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:39 pm

Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce

The Waukesha County Chamber of Commerce partnered with Impact Consulting Group, LLC, Brookfield, to offer Living As A Leader, a 12-month leadership development series. Living As A Leader is targeted at front line supervisors, middle managers and senior leaders. The series includes a monthly half-day skill workshop and a one-hour monthly coaching session with a leadership coach. New groups of 12 form every three to four months.

Sensia Healthcare

Work Injury Care Center, Milwaukee, changed its name to Sensia Healthcare. The new name coincides with an expanded line of services related to occupational and preventative medicine.

Association Acumen LLC

Gail Bast recently launched Association Acumen LLC  at 11950 W. Lake Park Dr., in Milwaukee. Association Acumen is a full service management company for non-profit organizations and trade associations. The company also provides event management services for both non-profit and for-profit companies. Bast serves as president of Association Acumen and has three employees.


Chancellor Emeritus James R. Connor and his wife Zoe presented a $15,000 gift to the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater for an outdoor balcony above the ballroom in the new James R. Connor University Center.

Scheibel Halaska Inc.

Cleaver-Brooks Inc., Milwaukee, selected Scheibel Halaska Inc., Milwaukee, as its agency of record. Cleaver-Brooks is a full-service provider of integrated boiler systems. Scheibel Halaska will work with Cleaver-Brooks to develop and implement a marketing communications program that will include branding, employee communications, public relations, advertising, direct marketing and Web site development.

Veolia ES Solid Waste Inc.

Veolia ES Solid Waste Inc., formerly Onyx Waste Services Inc., Milwaukee, pledged $30,000 to the Oconomowoc Soccer Association (OSA) to go toward the OSA Soccer Fields located within Monterey Park in the Town of Oconomowoc. Phase 1 included grading and seeding for about 32 acres of soccer fields and gravel parking spaces. Phase 2 of the development will include a permanent structure.

Stir LLC

Mandel Group Inc., Milwaukee, selected Stir LLC, Milwaukee, to develop a branding initiative for The North End neighborhood, a $200 million development in downtown Milwaukee. Stir has already created a branding campaign for The North End neighborhood with names, logos, banners and street-side items for the buildings within the neighborhood, located along the Milwaukee River on North Water Street, the site of the former Pfister & Vogel tannery. Stir will also offer services including marketing, advertising and public relations.

Prom Krog Altstiel Inc.

The Delavan location of Pentair Water, a division of Pentair Inc., Golden Valley, Minn., selected Prom Krog Altstiel Inc. (PKA), Mequon, as its agency of record. PKA will offer services including advertising, public relations, collateral, direct marketing, e-marketing and dealer and distributor relations. PKA will develop launch strategy and materials for the Pentek XE Series motors, which will power the company’s Aermotor, Berkeley, Myers and STA-RITE brands of well pumps.

Creative Knowledgeable Marketing Experts Inc.

Creative Knowledgeable Marketing Experts Inc. (CKME) recently opened for business at 2825 W. Kilbourn Ave. in Milwaukee. CKME is a full-service sales and marketing firm that will focus on the needs of small and mid-sized companies. The company is owned by Jean Claude Kortleven, Chris Kokalis and Justin Todd.


NORAM, Milwaukee, partnered with Bob Greenfield and his company, Alliance Sales LLC, Brown Deer, for sales representation. Alliance’s territory includes accounts in the commercial lawn and garden market and retail outlets. NORAM manufactures power solutions including clutch products and gearboxes for original equipment manufacturers.

mergers & acquisitions

Berbee to be acquired by Fortune 500 company

Berbee Information Networks Corp., one of Wisconsin’s corporate technology jewels, has signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by Vernon Hills, Ill.-based CDW Corp. for $175 million in cash.
Founded in 1993 by James Berbee, the company is one of the nation’s largest independent providers of information technology (IT) solutions to a broad spectrum of corporate and governmental clients.
Berbee is based in Madison and has other Wisconsin offices in Waukesha, Appleton and Wausau.
CDW Corp., a Fortune 500 company, is a leading provider of technology products and services to business, government and education.
“Our customers’ IT challenges are increasingly complex – customers want easy access to technology solutions,” said John Edwardson, CDW chairman and chief executive officer. “We are committed to being the best-in-class, single source for both core technology needs – and now with this acquisition, more advanced IT services and solutions.”
Berbee has an established track record of growth and profitability through the delivery of category-leading services and IT products primarily across the Cisco, IBM and Microsoft platforms.
Berbee has grown to have annual revenues of $390 million and earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization of about $22 million. Berbee, which has 800 employees, has consistently grown revenue at double-digit rates for the past five years. CDW’s objective is to double Berbee’s revenue in five years.
As part of the transaction, Berbee’s top three executive officers, including chief executive officer Paul Shain, have agreed to remain with and lead the business. Berbee will operate as a separate strategic business unit of CDW with its current product and service offerings, management team, staffing, operations and locations.
“CDW and Berbee have a strong common bond – we are both industry leaders that focus on empowering coworkers and providing a superior experience for our customers. We are confident that our shared cultural values will enable our two organizations to succeed together,” Edwardson said.
While CDW and Berbee’s business models are different, they are highly complementary, Edwardson said. Berbee’s sales model is primarily a field sales force working out of 11 branch offices in six states.
Approximately two-thirds of Berbee’s customers are currently not CDW customers. The companies’ complementary offerings will create significant cross-selling opportunities, Edwardson said.
James Berbee, who is chairman of the company, said, “It’s very gratifying to know that as Berbee moves onto an increasingly national stage it will have a premier industry partner with the resources, cultural values and commitment to support its growth as a leading national solutions provider. I want to thank the Berbee staff members for their dedication and hard work in consistently exceeding our customers’ expectations, building the premier IT solutions provider in the nation and making this combination possible. They have a bright future with CDW.”
Shain said, “Today marks an important milestone for both Berbee and CDW. Industry consolidation will increasingly reshape the solutions provider marketplace. Once again, we’re leading rather than following key changes in the industry, just as CDW has done many times before. We’re fortunate to be able to partner with an industry leader that is financially strong and shares our commitment to advanced technology, extraordinary customer service and similar cultural values. We’re confident that CDW is the right partner for the Berbee team.”
CDW was founded in 1984 and employs approximately 4,450 coworkers.

Private equity firm to acquire Generac

After 47 years of private ownership by its founder and chairman, Robert Kern, Generac Power Systems Inc. of Waukesha has signed an agreement to be acquired by CCMP Capital Advisors LLC, a private equity firm.
CCMP Capital, which is based in New York, was formed by the buyout/growth equity investment team at JPMorgan Partners.
Generac, which is the world’s largest manufacturer of portable power generators, has plants in Waukesha, Eagle and Whitewater, Wis., and Maquoketa, Iowa.
With the acquisition, Generac’s current management team of William Treffert, Dawn Tabat and Aaron Jagdfeld will continue in their roles. The Generac name also will be retained.
“CCMP Capital will be a welcome partner for Generac’s future success that will take the company to even higher levels,” said Treffert, who is the chief executive officer of Generac.
“This transition has been long-anticipated, and I am confident that we have selected the best partner for Generac. The success we have enjoyed over the past decades has been a result of the excellent work of our employees and the strong relationships that we have built with our business partners. I know that those aspects are important to CCMP Capital and that Generac will continue to build upon its successes in the future,” said Kern, who received SBT’s Lifetime Achievement Award at the Wisconsin Business & Technology Expo earlier this year.
CCMP Capital has invested more than $10 billion in over 375 buyout and growth equity transactions since 1984.

Michigan ice cream company acquires New Berlin plant

Wayland, Mich.-based Denali Flavors Inc., one of the nation’s leading inventors and marketers of premium flavors for the ice cream industry, has acquired an ice cream ingredient manufacturing plant in New Berlin.
The plant at 2400 S. Calhoun Road was sold by Toronto-based CoolBrands International Inc.
The 65,000-square-foot facility makes a variety of flavors and other ingredients for the dairy industry and has about 31 employees.
The acquisition signals Denali’s strategic move toward achieving greater consolidation and new capabilities in the ingredient production segment of its operations.
“Denali Flavors is looking to combine its experience with the experienced employees at the plant to expand production, but they do not have a finite number to announce at this point,” a company spokesman told SBT.
Denali said the addition of the facility, which generated approximately $20 million in annual sales in 2005, will nearly double its overall business. The facility will operate as Denali Ingredients LLC and serve dairy customers throughout North America.
In addition to developing more than 30 ice cream recipes, Denali partners with a majority of the nation’s independent local dairies making regional and store-branded products to produce Denali’s portfolio of flavor varieties, including the company’s signature Moose Tracks brand.
The Denali product line also includes Bear Claw, Bear Foot, Mother Lode and Caramel Caribou.
In purchasing the CoolBrands facility, Denali said it intends to expand into manufacturing the flavors, chocolate coatings, fudge sauces, powders and other key ingredients required in its recipes. In addition, Denali expects to continue supplying ingredients to a number of other private-label manufacturers currently served by the plant.
“As we look to the future, the development of a more integrated approach to ice cream creation and production represents the next strategic step in our growth,” said Neal Glaeser, president of Denali Flavors. “At a time of increasing consolidation in the dairy industry, bringing an ingredient manufacturing capability in-house not only provides more control from a quality and supply standpoint, it also allows us to expand our product line of innovative products. We expect to bring more winning flavors to our partners and consumers as a result.”

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