Business briefs

Milwaukee-based public relations firm Zigman Joseph Stephenson has opened an office in midtown Manhattan. The office, located in Rockefeller Plaza, is intended to serve and expand the firm’s communications and public affairs practices. Christine Mangi, an account executive at the firm since 2000, has been promoted to account supervisor and has relocated to New York City to oversee the new business venture.
A former broadcast journalist, Mangi is responsible for working with law firms to serve national and international clients in the areas of litigation support, marketing communications and issues management while maintaining her responsibilities in the areas of media relations. The office in New York City will allow the firm to further develop its relationship with leading media outlets and law firms while expanding the firm’s presence and business interests on the east coast, its president said.
"Our goal is to be a more cutting edge, global PR firm," said Craig Peterson, president and chief executive officer of ZJS. "The office in New York is a step in that direction. It gives us the capability to directly reach a national and international market. We expect this will be an opportunity to diversify our client base and better serve existing clients with their communications and government affairs needs."

Nemes Allen & Co. has announced a merger with Madison-based Virchow, Krause & Co., the 13th largest CPA and consulting firm in the country and the largest Wisconsin-based firm of its kind.
In making the announcement, Nemes Allen co-founder and principal Barry Allen said, "The merger will provide our clients with access to many additional services and areas of expertise. Combining our practices will strengthen our base of industry knowledge and expertise and offer our clients many specialized services to meet their growing needs."
As Virchow Krause, the partners and staff of the former Nemes Allen firm will continue to operate from its existing location.
"When we look for firms with which to merge, we look at the quality of the people and the reputation of the firm, said Tim Christen, CEO of Virchow Krause. "We also look for firms that serve clients similar to ours, and are located in areas in which we would like to expand our practice. Nemes Allen has an impressive reputation as a high-quality firm and we view the Greater Detroit market as a very viable and growth-oriented market."
Allen will serve as managing partner of the Detroit practice while Dan Nemes, co-founder and principal of Nemes Allen, will hold a seat on Virchow Krause’s executive committee.
Virchow Krause has 121 partners and a staff of more than 800. The firm has 12 locations in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Michigan and provides global services through its affiliation with Baker Tilly International.
Among its Wisconsin locations are offices in Milwaukee and in Elkhorn.

Novo Recruiting ( has opened at 789 N. Water St. in downtown Milwaukee. Working across industries, the firm finds executive, managerial, sales, technical and professional talent for its clients and helps clients improve their recruitment process.
"From this initial office in Milwaukee, our plans are to open offices across the United States in the next five years," said Mike Harris, co-founder, president and CEO of Novo. "We are off to nice start with over a dozen searches in progress already," said Harris.
Harris, 43, was formerly chairman and CEO of Jefferson Wells International, the professional services firm headquartered in Milwaukee. He founded Jefferson Wells (originally known as AuditForce) in late 1995 and led its growth to 25 offices, 1,600 employees and $131 million in sales in five years. Jefferson Wells was sold to Manpower Inc. of Glendale in 2001.
After selling Jefferson Wells, Harris also co-founded SilverTrain, a Milwaukee-based information technology services firm where he currently serves as Chairman.
Harris’ partner at Novo Recruiting is Cindy Lu, co-founder, vice president and managing director of the Milwaukee office of Novo.
"Effective recruiting can have a significant impact on the success of any business," said Lu. "At Novo, we help organizations maximize return from their recruitment spending and efforts by minimizing recruiting costs and maximizing the contribution from the talented people we find them," Lu stated.
Lu, 39, previously was the owner of J. Galt & Associates, a Milwaukee recruiting firm. She was also a senior executive for five years at the Parson Group, one of the fastest growing professional service companies in America.

Safety Connections Inc. is a new company in Sheboygan focusing on safety in the workplace with products and services. While the initial focus will be on Wisconsin clients, Safety Connections expects to serve a national and then global client base.
Jim Lehrke, with 33 years of experience in the safety field, started the company ( His experience includes seven years as president of Sheboygan County’s Safety Council. Lehrke led a Fortune 200 company’s safety program.

Muskus & Associates Ltd. of Milwaukee has changed its name to Muskus Management Corp. in a corporate identity makeover tied to significant business growth.
A new logo and corporate identity materials and forms were also created for the company by Phoenix Marketing Group.
Company president Cheryl Muskus, said she wanted a name and logo that better identified her company’s services and their impact on customers. Phoenix identified three distinct service offerings: customer relationship management, construction management, and accounting and business consulting.

RK Ltd is a new medical billing office at 1055 Prairie Dr., Suite D in Racine. The company is a full-service, HIPPA-compliant medical billing company
specializing in radiology and pathology medical billing. President Robert Kim, MD, MBA, fellow radiologist with more than 30 years of group practice and medical billing management said, "We are very familiar with the ever-changing billing requirements and intricacies that
medical practitioners face today."

Marianne Jaehnke has started Integrated Manufacturing Services LLC, a manufacturer’s rep agency in Hales Corners focusing on metal and metal-related products and services. She is presently representing companies that manufacture metal stampings, fabrications, aluminum extrusions, precision injected molded plastic, thermoset and thermoform plastics, and prototypes.
Further, she represents a safety consulting and training company and a sales and marketing consultant.
Jaehnke will cover Wisconsin, Illinois and parts of Iowa and Michigan. She was previously the vice president and sales manager for Ideal Manufacturing Solutions in Franklin.

Sattell, Johnson, Appel & Co., and Capital Resource Group have formed a new company to provide expanded financial services, Financial Resource Services LLC. The firm offers investment counseling and financial planning.
"As strategic partners with our clients in the area of accounting and business management services, we see many opportunities to help them with other financial advice, including asset management and retirement planning," said Michael Sattell, managing partner at Sattell, Johnson, Appel & Co.
Bill Haise, founder of Capital Resource Group, is president of the new firm. He has more than 35 years of experience in investment and financial planning. For the past 10 years his focus has been on managing personal portfolios with a fee-based approach.
Financial Resource Services has offices at Woodland Prime in Menomonee Falls.

Continental Savings Bank will expand into Mukwonago. The Greenfield-based savings bank is building a new facility at 1231 S. Rochester St. (Highway 83). Ground was broken in September for the 30,000-square-foot building.
"We’ve been watching growth in the Mukwonago area, and felt the time was right for a banking facility and adjacent office space," said Jim Podewils, president of Continental Savings Bank. "Other significant construction projects in the area, including a Waukesha Memorial Hospital Clinic and new Home Depot, along with Mukwonago’s strong residential growth, indicate the area is becoming a major hub."
The office will be Continental’s first new location in more than 20 years. It will be completed by next June.
The new branch will employ five people and occupy 2,700 square feet of the two-story building. Remaining office space will be leased. The $3.5 million structure is being built by Gerald Nell Inc. of Waukesha.
Continental Savings Bank currently has six offices, in Milwaukee, Brookfield, Brown Deer and Hales Corners.

Frank’s Adjustment Bureau Inc., Wisconsin’s oldest licensed collection agency, has been purchased by Jeanne Beal with financing assistance from the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. (WWBIC).
Located at 521 High St. in Racine, the 71-year-old Frank’s Adjustment Bureau draws its clients from various industries in southeastern Wisconsin, including We Energies, Racine Emergency Services and Curtis Universal Ambulance.
WWBIC also announced that it is financing the start-up of Steel Masters LLC, a company in Mayville specializing in turnkey flame cut, stress relief and Blanchard-ground plates. The company’s owner is Gerald Hoover.
Great Impressions LLC, a graphic design business and printing brokerage service, has moved into the new Burleigh Enterprise Center, 5312 W. Burleigh St., Milwaukee, in a move made possible with WWBIC financing. The company has been in business since 1999 and has outgrown its home-based office.

Mark Boccio and Christopher Zuzick have formed Spire LLC, an advisory firm assisting companies and company owners with acquisitions and divestitures. The two are co-owners.
"We feel strongly that out direct experience in small business manufacturing and professional services, combined with out network of buyers and sellers and other intermediaries, which extends throughout Wisconsin, the Midwest and the United States, enables us to provide value-added expertise to small business owners who are considering the sale or purchase of a company," Zuzick said.
Boccio said the new firm offers an alternative to "high-cost, high-minded M&A boutiques; low-cost, low-effort business brokers; and other advisors." He said Spire offers simplified engagement terms, low-risk fee structures and active pursuit of objectives.
Spire will focus on companies with revenues of less than $5 million. The company is on the Internet at

Office Furniture Resources of Milwaukee has opened a new used office furniture store in Detroit. The company, in business since 1991, also has stores in Chicago, Naperville, Ill., and St. Louis.

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Andrew is the editor of BizTimes Milwaukee. He joined BizTimes in 2003, serving as managing editor and real estate reporter for 11 years. A University of Wisconsin-Madison graduate, he is a lifelong resident of the state. He lives in Muskego with his wife, Seng, their son, Zach, and their dog, Hokey. He is an avid sports fan and is a member of the Muskego Athletic Association board of directors.

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