Biz Notes for 1.20.06

Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:36 pm


William Mielke, chief executive officer and president of Ruekert/Mielke, Waukesha, received the distinguished achievement award from the University of Wisconsin-Madison College of Engineering. Mielke has been chief executive officer of Ruekert/Mielke since 1980 and president since 1989. He is a fellow of the American Consulting Engineers Council, a diplomat in environmental engineering and one of the founders of the American Council of Engineering Companies of Wisconsin and of the Waukesha Engineering Scholarship Fund Inc., Waukesha.

First Weber Group Realtors

First Weber Group Realtors, Milwaukee, acquired Rhinelander Realty, Rhinelander and Benchmark Realty, Beaver Dam. Sandy Ebben, Gerry Riopel and Ron Skagen, the owners of Rhinelander Realty, will remain with First Weber Group as vice presidents. Ebben will also manage the office. Diane Wendorf and Fred Kaping, the owners of Benchmark Realty, will remain with First Weber Group.

House of Peace, a Capuchin ministry

House of Peace, a Capuchin ministry, Milwaukee, received a $5,000 donation from Waukesha County Community Foundation and a $5,000 donation from Wauwatosa Savings Bank, Wauwatosa. House of Peace is a Capuchin ministry and is part of the Capuchin Province of St. Joseph, Detroit and serves Capuchin ministries worldwide.

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans

International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans, Brookfield, was contracted by the U.S. Department of Labor to facilitate the Third National Summit on Retirement Savings. The International Foundation will assist with meeting logistics and preparation of background materials. This is the second time the International Foundation has been contracted by the DOL. The Foundation also facilitated the Second National Summit in 2002. The 2006 summit will be held March 1-2 in Washington, D.C. The summit will be hosted by Labor Secretary Elaine L. Chao and co-hosted by leaders of Congress and convened by President George W. Bush. The theme will be "Overcoming Obstacles to Retirement Saving."

Cannella Response Television

Cannella Response Television, Burlington, will be the exclusive long form infomercial media placement agency for The Water Channel, a service of MCE Television Networks Inc., Everett, Wash. The Water Channel is currently available on the Dish Network channel 216.

Image Makers Advertising

Image Makers Advertising, Waukesha, was named agency of record by The CabineTree, Brookfield and Keystone Marble & Granite, Milwaukee. Image Makers will be responsible for strategic planning, public relations, media buying and production of creative materials for both companies.

The Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors

The Greater Milwaukee Association of Realtors, Milwaukee, named Peter Stefaniak of Stefaniak Group LLC, Greenfield, Realtor of the Year; Dennis Doyle of Great Midwest Bank SSB, Brookfield, Affiliate of the Year and presented Kathy Domagalski of the Cedarburg office of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Glencoe, Ill., with the Dedicated Service Award and Joann Glawe of Shorewest Realtors, Brookfield with the Lifetime Achievement Award.

Roundy’s Inc.

The Roundy’s Foundation, a philanthropic arm of Roundy’s Inc., Milwaukee, donated $31,000 in food and funds to two south side non-profit organizations. Roundy’s presented Hope House of Milwaukee Inc., Milwaukee, with a $4,000 check and a half truckload of food for its food pantry. The foundation donated $5,000 to United Migrant Opportunity Services Inc. (UMOS), Milwaukee, also with a half truckload of food.

Roundy’s Foundation also recently donated $20,000 to the Milwaukee Urban League. The funds are earmarked for the Milwaukee Urban League’s Campaign for African American Achievement (CAAA). The goal of CAAA is to get every African American student in the Milwaukee community to understand the importance and value of a good education.

Filtration Solutions Inc.

Filtration Solutions Inc., Waukesha, partnered with Beach Filter Products, Glen Rock, Pa., to be an authorized distributor of Sta-Dri pouches. The Sta-Dri pouches are designed to protect products from rust, corrosion and mildew. Special units of the pouches are also used to protect boats, recreational vehicles, classic or antique cars, airplanes, and gun cabinets from moisture.

Boyer & Associates LLC

Boyer & Associates LLC, Brookfield, recently opened for business. Boyer & Associates provides consulting services to long term care providers nation wide. Patricia Boyer is the president and operations consultant.

Online media guy LLC

Paul Schuman recently founded online media guy LLC, Glendale, located at 1820 W. Good Hope Road. Online media guy specializes in online media and marketing and offers services including strategy, planning and buying to campaign management, optimization and reporting.

Wixon Inc.

Cozatta Helm, vice president of research and development for Wixon Inc., St. Francis, was named to the Human Environmental Sciences Hall of Fame by the University of Kentucky College of Agriculture and School of Human Environment Sciences. Helm has more than 30 years of experience in new product development. Helm previously worked for J.W. Allen Co., Wheeling, Ill.; Sara Lee Corp., Chicago; Keebler Co., Elmhurst, Ill.; The NutraSweet Co., Chicago and Baker & Baker, now H.C. Brill Co. Inc., Tucker, Ga. Helm holds a bachelor’s degree in home economics and a master’s degree in nutrition and food science from the University of Kentucky. She holds a master’s in business administration with majors in marketing and finance from Northwestern University’s Kellogg Graduate School of Management. Helm is a member of the Institute of Food Technologists, the American Association of Cereal Chemists and the Women’s Food Services Forum.

Wisconsin Family Business of the Year Award

The Wisconsin Family Business of the Year Award is accepting nominations for the 2006 award program. Nominations can be downloaded from or by calling (608) 836-7500. Self nominations are encouraged. All nominations are due by Feb. 25. One grand award is given to a family business in each category of small (less than 50 employees), medium (50 to 99 employees) and large (100 or more employees) companies. Smith & Gesteland LLP, Madison; Associated Banc-Corp, Green Bay and DeWitt, Ross & Stevens SC., Madison will be co-sponsors of the award.

Focus on Energy and Sunny Slope Gardens Inc.

Sunny Slope Gardens Inc., New Berlin, installed wood pellet furnaces at its garden center business to cut its natural gas consumption and gain energy independence. Sunny Slope was able to install the wood pellet furnaces because of a $2,451 Cash Back Reward from Wisconsin’s Focus on Energy Renewable Energy Program. The six new Breckwell Big E furnaces were installed by Kowalske’s Hot Spot, Big Bend, and will burn about 25 tons of wood pellets per year. The wood pellet furnaces are expected to generate 4,320 therms per year which is enough to heat 4.5 Wisconsin homes and prevent more than 74 tons of carbon dioxide from entering the atmosphere each year.

Mergers & Acquisitions

Brookfield employment services company expands with acquisition

Brookfield-based QPS Companies Inc. has acquired EmployAbility Inc.’s Wisconsin operations, which include offices in Delavan and Janesville. With the acquisition, QPS adds a 51 percent increase to the revenues already generated by its Elkhorn and Beloit offices. QPS will continue to operate Rockford-based EmployAbility’s Janesville location, but will close the Delavan office and serve those consumers out of its Elkhorn office.

"We’re excited about expanding our geographical reach, which will allow us to better serve both our existing customers and applicants," said Mark Immekus, vice president of sales of QPS. "The acquisition is just one of the steps in our 2006 growth and development plan."

QPS, which was founded in 1985, has grown from a two-person operation to a company with a staff of more than 140 employees in 14 office locations. QPS is a diversified employment services company that provides staffing, recruiting, payrolling and other services in Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

Viking Electric acquires Boggis-Johnson

Boggis-Johnson Electric Co., a venerable Wauwatosa electrical supply company that was formed in 1915, has been acquired by Viking Electric Supply of Minneapolis. Boggis-Johnson, which is located at 2900 N. 112th St., had been owned by the Johnson family for generations.

"It’s all very positive. The company stays, as well as all of its employees. All of the impact is positive. We just continue forward as part of the Viking family," said Ned Timarac, who has served as the president of Boggis-Johnson but will take a new title that has yet to be determined with the combined company.

Financial terms of the acquisition were not disclosed. Timarac said Boggis-Johnson’s 55 employees will be retained, and the company’s Wauwatosa plant will be expanded. Viking Electric Supply was acquired in 2000 by Berwyn, Pa.-based Sonepar Distribution USA, a subsidiary of the Sonepar Group, which is based in Paris, France.

"We’re anticipating adding employees and enlarging our facilities. The exciting thing about the merger is it will provide continued future growth and longevity for the company and its employees," Timarac said.

The president of Viking Electric who will oversee the Boggis-Johnson operation is Greg Hames. The Boggis-Johnson name will be retained for the short-term, but it will ultimately be absorbed into the Viking Electric brand, Timarac said.

Brady Corp. acquires California company

Brady Corp., a Milwaukee-based provider of identification solutions and specialty materials, announced that it has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Personnel Concepts of Pomona, Calif. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Personnel Concepts is a direct marketer of labor-law-compliance

posters and related products. Founded in 1986, Personnel Concepts employs about 160 people and had sales of about $29 million in 2005. "Providing the products and expertise to help companies comply with OSHA and other regulatory agencies has long been a core competency for Brady’s direct marketing businesses Seton and Emedco. The acquisition of Personnel Concepts, as experts in labor law communication requirements, adds another dimension of regulatory expertise and compliance products to our business," said Tom Felmer, vice president of direct marketing in the Americas for Brady Corp. "We are excited to be joining Brady. They are a global organization with a solid track record of success in direct marketing. They also share our focus on meeting customer needs for the most up-to-date and accurate regulatory information and compliance products," said Jason Kays, chief executive officer of Personnel Concepts.

Brady Corp. also announced it has acquired J.A.M. Plastics Inc. of Anaheim, Calif.

J.A.M. Plastics specializes in the sale and manufacture of security-related accessory products, including patented badge holders, lanyards and retractable badge reels. J.A.M. Plastics had sales of approximately $10 million in its 2005 fiscal year and employs about 80 people. Financial terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

Private equity fund sells Milwaukee company

Brush Engineered Materials Inc. announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Williams Advanced Materials Inc. (WAM), has acquired privately held Cerac Inc., a manufacturer of specialty inorganic and physical vapor deposition materials based in Milwaukee’s Menomonee River Valley.

WAM acquired Cerac from Facilitator Capital Fund, a Milwaukee-based private equity fund, and management shareholders for about $25 million. Brush Engineered Materials) is headquartered in Cleveland.

Buffalo, N.Y.-based Williams and Cerac share a long history of product innovation and market growth in the optics industry. In recent years, Cerac materials have been supplied to coat the lenses for WAM’s Visi-Lid window assemblies designed for hermetically sealing optoelectronic devices.

Cerac, with 2005 revenues of approximately $20 million, has 120 employees at its facility in Milwaukee. The company produces PVD and specialty inorganic materials for the precision optics, ophthalmics, semiconductor, security, and laser and display technologies industries.

Gordon Harnett, chairman and chief executive officer of Brush Engineered Materials, said, "Our improved financial flexibility has allowed us to enhance our growth through quality niche acquisitions over the past year. The purchase of Cerac continues the positive momentum of our Williams business and enables us to further execute our overall strategy of expanding our product breadth and global reach." Gus Taylor, senior managing director at Facilitator Capital Fund, said, "We recognized Cerac’s potential to aggressively pursue multiple niches in the optical coatings marketplace, and our plan was to build a solid foundation for the company to build upon."

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