BizTimes staffers forming their own company

Mike Kuharske, the director of business development for BizTimes Media, and Marc Case, the director of advertising for BizTimes Media, will leave the company on July 1 to start their own independent marketing firm, Gravity Marketing LLC.

"We will be continuing to do what we do with a lot of our clients," Kuharske said. "This is really a natural transition for us of what we already do. It allows us to expand our existing relationships."

Gravity Marketing has a 12-month lease for the former Don Quixote restaurant building at 704 S. 2nd St., in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood. The firm will purchase the 2-story, 2,100-square-foot building after the one year lease is complete.

Gravity Marketing will provide business-to-business advertising and marketing services and will serve the Milwaukee, Madison and Fox Valley areas.

The company’s name comes from Kuharske and Case’s core philosophy that organizations, companies, brands and campaigns should foster community (creating gravity).

"All clients should be building community around their brand and their organization," Kuharske said.

One way that Kuharske and Case hope to build a community around their firm is to use the first floor of their building as a members-only coffee shop for members of the creative community and their clients. Gravity’s offices will be on the second floor of the building. The first floor coffee shop space will also be used as a venue for Gravity’s own events.

Kuharske and Case said they hope to foster connections between the creative community, such as graphic artists and designers, and the business community. Creative individuals often struggle to communicate and do business with traditional businesspeople because each speaks a "different language." Kuharske and Case said they hope to serve as "translators" between businesspeople and creative people.

"We can help connect their creative services with the business needs of our clients," Kuharske said.

With Case leaving the company, BizTimes Media LLC recently hired Tom Gaertner as vice president of sales. He most recently served as vice president of client development for Pewaukee-based Platypus Advertising +Design. He also previously served as vice president of the Midwest region for Time Warner Cable Media Sales. His other experiences include sales management for FM 96.5 WKLH and Channel 12 WISN-TV. Gaertner will oversee the print, online and event sponsorship sales for the business magazine- BizTimes Milwaukee, and including BizTimes Daily and four weekly e-newsletters.

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