Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:52 am
Usingers to receive BizTimes Lifetime Achievement Award
The BizTimes 2011 Bravo! Entrepreneur Lifetime Achievement Award will go to the Usinger family.
The annual award will be accepted by Fritz and Debra Usinger on behalf of generations of the Milwaukee family.
The award salutes entrepreneurs who have demonstrated bold corporate leadership and commitments to their workforce, their customers and their community.
The family operates Fred Usinger Inc. at 1030 N. Old World Third St., where the Usingers have been crafting and selling their sausages at their original store since 1880.
The company still uses the family’s original 19th century recipes, using only the finest ingredients. Unchanged since 1880, the recipes are never altered in order to meet a competitive price.
The Usinger family success story is the classic American Dream. In the late 1870’s, a young German immigrant, Fred Usinger, arrived in Milwaukee with $400 in cash and his favorite sausage recipes, which he had learned as an apprentice "wurstmacher" (sausage maker) in Frankfurt. Fred had ambition, dreams of a better life and the willingness to work hard for it.
Fred went to work for Julia Gaertner, a widow who operated a small butcher shop on Third Street. Within a year or so, Usinger had bought out Gaertner, married her niece, Louise, and moved into living quarters above the store.
The young couple worked 16 to 18 hours a day making and selling their sausage. Their best customers were saloonkeepers whose trade depended on the quality of their free lunches. As long as their customers relished Usinger’s sausages, the saloons paid Usinger’s premium price.
At the turn of the century, Milwaukee’s German aristocracy did their shopping on Third Street, and the store soon became a popular stop. Before long, the Usingers were shipping sausage as far away as New York. While business became so good that more help was needed, Fred Usinger kept the growth under control, so he could oversee each step of the sausage making process.
Fred Usinger died in 1930. His legacy, however, lives on. Today, a fourth generation of Usingers leads the firm into the 21st century, mindful of their heritage of “America’s Finest Sausage.”
Fritz Usinger serves as the company’s president, succeeding his father. Fritz’s sister, Debra, is the company’s director of retail operations and corporate services. They are great-grandchildren of the company’s founder. In recent years, the company has expanded with a plant in Milwaukee’s Walker’s Point neighborhood.
The BizTimes Bravo! Lifetime Achievement Award has been given to a who’s who list of Milwaukee’s foremost entrepreneurs. The Usingers will join an impressive list of past recipients of the award, including Stephen Marcus of The Marcus Corp.; Richard Pieper Sr. of PPC Partners Inc.; Harry Quadracci of Quad/Graphics Inc.; Joseph Zilber of Towne Realty Inc.; Robert Kern of Generac Power Systems Inc.; and George Dalton of Fiserv Inc. and Novo 1 Inc.
“BizTimes is proud to salute the best of the best,” said BizTimes Milwaukee publisher Dan Meyer. “The Usingers – as a family, a company and an employer – make Milwaukee a better place. Who could be more quintessentially Milwaukee than the Usingers?”
The award will be presented to the Usingers at the BizTimes Bravo! Entrepreneur and IQ Awards Luncheon on Thursday, May 12. The luncheon will be part of the BizTech Conference & Expo to be held at Wisconsin State Fair Park. To register to attend, visit www.biztimes.com/bravo.
Dalton joins online venture
George Dalton, well-known Milwaukee entrepreneur and former Fiserv Inc. chief executive officer, has been named chairman of the board for BIZremedies, a new online consultant resource for entrepreneurs and their companies.
“George is a perfect chairman of the board for BIZremedies,” said Susan Wehrley, CEO of BIZremedies. “His past success in building a business and his many business connections will be a great advantage to BIZremedies. His business expertise will be an asset to many.”
Dalton founded Fiserv and Novo 1, which he sold last year. He is a past recipient of the BizTimes Bravo! Entrepreneur Lifetime Achievement Award.
Dalton said he was interested in BIZremedies because of the growth potential of its website.
In April, the company will launch a renovated website, which will include:
A five-step strategic leadership and employee engagement program; a qualified consultant course; a consultant match program; and a business best practices library with resources and solutions to help companies succeed.
BIZremedies’ new site will initially focus on Wisconsin, but its goal is to become a nationally known resource, Wehrley said.
To enrich the best practices library and put a new twist on talent innovation, Dalton and Wehrley will be launching a community outreach in April called, “BIZremedies Corporate Challenge.” Wehrley will videotape interviews with top business leaders who will share their best practices to the common dilemmas they face in the workplace. The videos will be offered in the BIZremedies library, on YouTube, and on TV beginning in April 2011.
Raaths will be new president of DeWitt Ross & Stevens
The Wisconsin-based law firm of DeWitt Ross & Stevens S.C. announced that Bradley Raaths, a member of the firm’s executive committee, has been appointed president and managing partner, effective July 1.
Raaths will succeed Stephen DiTullio, who has served as the firm’s managing partner for almost 10 years. DiTullio will continue to be involved in firm management and will serve as the chairman of the firm’s executive committee.
Raaths has been with DeWitt Ross & Stevens for 12 years and has served on its executive committee since 2009. His practice is focused on representing business clients in all manners of complex business transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, private equity offerings and corporate governance issues.
“Raaths was the obvious and unanimous choice of the partners to assume this role,” DiTullio said. “He understands the business side of the firm and has been active in firm management for years. Furthermore, he understands that our business begins and ends with providing our clients first-rate service. I am confident that Brad has the experience and vision to lead the firm in the coming years.”
“It is important when a firm makes the decision to transition to new leadership that there is an active collaboration between the outgoing and incoming leader,” Raaths said. “At our firm, we strongly believe our strength begins with solid leadership, including the foresight to bring in new leaders and new ideas.”
DeWitt Ross & Stevens operates offices in the Milwaukee and Madison markets.
Webb will be new CEO of DeltaHawk
Racine-based DeltaHawk Engines Inc. has named Dennis Webb as its new chief executive officer.
Webb, who has been with DeltaHawk since 2005, will take over for Diane Doers, who will continue serving in an advisory role with the board of directors.
Founded in 1996, DeltaHawk is a manufacturer of lightweight, fuel-efficient engines for the commercial and general aviation industry. As it expands operations and ramps up manufacturing, DeltaHawk expects to create more than 100 jobs over the next three years.
The news of Webb assuming the role of CEO comes on the heels of a series of positive announcements for the company, including securing additional funding and support from state and local government and a move to a new production facility.
“DeltaHawk is doing a great job generating the momentum they need to help launch their engine,” said Racine Mayor John Dickert. “Dennis Webb and his team of experienced leaders are going to be exciting to work with as they grow this company and bring more than 100 new jobs to Racine.”
Before joining DeltaHawk, Webb held a number of management positions with companies such as Modine Manufacturing Co., Liebert Corp. and Johnson Controls Inc.
Wisconsin Energy execs honored as ‘All American Executives’
Gale Klappa and Allen Leverett both of Wisconsin Energy have been named to Institutional Investor magazine’s All-American Executive Team for 2011.
Each year the magazine conducts an extensive survey of analysts and money managers from across the U.S. and abroad to determine the top performing executives in virtually every industry sector – ranging from airlines to utilities.
In this year’s study, Leverett was tied for first among chief financial officers of electric utilities. Gale Klappa was ranked second among chief executives in the electric utility industry and first among chief executives of regulated utilities. More than 1,200 analysts and portfolio managers participated in the study.
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