Bubbler executive appointments and awards

Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:49 am

Xten Industries is Kenosha Business of the Year
The 2011 Kenosha County Business Excellence Awards, presented by the Kenosha Area Business Alliance (KABA) and the Kenosha Area Chamber of Commerce, will be presented Thursday, Nov. 3, at the Student Center University Ballroom at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside.
The revised format for this year’s awards includes a distinction between smaller and larger businesses, as well as recognition of emerging companies known as the “Fast Five.”
Xten Industries Inc. was selected as the 2011 Business of the Year. The award honors a firm that has been in business for at least five years and has more than 30 employees.
Xten’s recognition as Business of the Year is only the latest in a series of awards, including being named three times to the Future 50 list of fastest-growing companies, awarded by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) and the Council of Small Business Executives (COSBE).  Earlier this year, Xten was one of four KABA members selected as a Wisconsin Company to Watch by the Wisconsin Entrepreneur Network and the Wisconsin Department of Commerce.
From 2009 to 2011, Xten added 30 employees at its 78,000-square-foot manufacturing facility in Kenosha. In that same span, the company’s revenue has climbed by $4.5 million, partly stemming from the development of new products for use in medical waste disposal and appliances.
GEM Manufacturing Inc. is the 2011 Small Business of the Year, receiving the honor from nominees that have fewer than 30 employees and have been in business for more than three years.
The Bristol-based company produces over 2,000 different parts annually for the agriculture, fluid handling, energy, material handling and food processing industries as well as many others, including the military. GEM operates two, 10-hour shifts per day, four days per week and recently eclipsed the 30-employee mark, growing from 18 in 2009 to 34 currently.
Founded in 1974 as Specialty Machining by Mario and Lynne Morrone, brothers Kevin and Rob Gottschalk acquired the company in 2006 and renamed it GEM Manufacturing. Last year, the company’s revenues grew by $1.4 million and are projected to grow by another $2.2 million in 2011.
In the beginning of 2011, GEM added a second location, a 10,000-square-foot building in the Business Park of Kenosha, to house its milling operations. The acquisition clears the way for GEM to purchase new equipment and improve operational efficiency.
Craig Deaton, founder and president of Gateway Mortgage Corp., was named Entrepreneur of the Year. Deaton founded Gateway Mortgage in 1983 as a mortgage broker. He has developed the company into a full service mortgage banker with a full-time staff of 23, currently servicing about $335 million in residential first mortgages. 
With an emphasis on quality underwriting, Gateway steered clear of subprime mortgages completely and does not originate second liens (HELOCS/second mortgages).
The awards program also expanded this year to include the Fast Five, which puts a spotlight on companies that have made a significant economic impact in Kenosha County over the past year. That impact is defined as meeting at least two of the following criteria: significant revenue or employment growth; introduction of a new product, service or innovation; and growth in regional, national or international exports. Recipients of the Fast Five recognition in 2011 are Allied Plastics, Inc. of Twin Lakes; Five Star Coatings Group of Twin Lakes; and Kenosha-based Equity Creative; Offsite LLC; and RJ Underground Inc.
The Kenosha County Business Excellence awards program began in 2005 when KABA and the Kenosha Chamber joined together to present one collaborative program celebrating successful companies.
The panel of judges who select award recipients includes winners from past years, a representative from BizTimes Milwaukee, as well as representatives from the business school programs at UW-Parkside, Carthage College and Gateway Technical College.
For more information about the 2011 Kenosha County Business Excellence Awards, visit http://www.kaba.org/email-blasts/eblasts/BEA_winner_archives.htm.

Wixon named St. Francis Business of the Year
Wixon Inc., was recently named to 2011 Business of the Year in St. Francis.
Wixon  was founded in Chicago in 1907 by Charles Franklin Wixon. Wixon prepared spices by night and delivered them by day in a horse-drawn wagon down the heart of the business district in Chicago. After Wixon’s death in 1925, the company was sold to its salespeople and in 1964 merged with Milwaukee Spice Mills forming Wixon Milwaukee Spice Corporation which was headquartered at the current location in St. Francis. In 1980, Fontarome Chemical of France purchased Wixon.
The City of St. Francis Economic Development Committee will host the 43rd Annual Business Appreciation Night at the Pulaski Inn, 3900 East Pulaski Avenue in Cudahy on Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2011. Ticket prices are $25 per person and can be purchased at St. Francis City Hall.

Iron Horse named boutique hotel of the year
For the second consecutive year, the Boutique & Lifestyle Lodging Association has named The Iron Horse Hotel the Boutique Hotel of the Year. The hotel was chosen based on six catergories which include: design and architecture, sustainability, food and beverage, customer service, marketing and sales, and operational performance.
The Iron Horse Hotel, owner Tim Dixon was also named 2011 Hotelier of the Year, by the organization.
“I’m honored to have received these awards from BLLA and I accept on behalf of an amazing team,” said owner Tim Dixon who accepted the award in Miami recently. “This honor shows that exceptional, experiential and independent hotels can thrive in any market as long as there is a vision and commitment to customer service.”
The 102-room hotel celebrates its third anniversary on September 18, 2011. Since its inception it has been consistently recognized for its cutting edge blend of business traveler amenities and motorcycle enthusiast appeal. In addition to being an AAA Four Diamond Hotel, the hotel has also been named to Condé Nast Traveler’s Hot List, National Geographic Traveler’s Stay List and Tablet10, the Top Ten Best Hotels in the Americas.

Glendale engineer earns young civil engineer of the year award
Bridget Schuh, design engineer with Glendale-based Kapur and Associates, was recently awarded the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Young Civil Engineer of the Year Award. This recognition, established in 1975, is awarded annually to a member of the Wisconsin Section of ASCE. The candidates were judged on their attained professional achievement and measured by registering as a professional engineer and having three years of experience, demonstration of self-improvement, service to the profession, evidence of responsibility, competence, ethics, and merit. Schuh is also past-president of the ASCE Younger Member Group.

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