Business Notes

Karl Robe, who recently founded and serves as president of Karl James & Company Public Relations ( in Mukwonago, has become an accredited member of the public relations profession by completing the examination governed by the Universal Accreditation Board. Previously, he worked in public relations, media relations and marketing communications for global companies in financial services and heavy equipment manufacturing as well as national associations in sports and human services.

Robe’s firm is negotiating to provide public relations services to several new clients, including a Las Vegas-based architecture firm, a Wisconsin association, a Wisconsin police department and two Wisconsin utilities. Clients already served by Karl James & Company include water utilities, construction contractors and community advocates.

Sunset Bank in Waukesha has launched the Cash Flow Solutions program for small businesses in Waukesha and Milwaukee counties, according to Harry Johnson, executive vice president of the bank. "By offering the Cash Flow Solutions product, we will be able to help companies increase cash flow and the ability to increase profits," he said. "Cash Flow Solutions will enable businesses to convert a ‘dead’ asset, accounts receivable, and turn them into cash."

The Racine/Kenosha chapter of the American Production and Inventory Control Society has named Bombardier Recreational Products as its 2002/2003 Company of the Year. The honor is awarded based on a company’s commitment to continued education and professional development in the fields of production management and inventory control. Bombardier Recreational Products, located in Racine, is a subsidiary of Bombardier, a Canadian maker of aircraft, trains and recreational products.
The chapter also named Craig Simpkins of Abbott Laboratories as its 2002/2003 Member of the Year. The honor is awarded based on a member’s commitment to continued education and professional development in the fields of production management and inventory control. Simpkins is a long-time APICS member, a volunteer chapter board member and an instructor in local APICS certification courses.

Area artist Pat Hidson has opened her own gallery from her studio at 133 W. Pittsburgh Ave. in Milwaukee’s Walkers Point neighborhood. She has been producing pieces for more than 25 years.

Landmark Credit Union has opened a branch inside Grundl’s Sentry Foods at 76th Street and Rawson Avenue in Franklin. It is the 11th branch for the bank. Landmark Credit Union is the largest credit union in the state, with $760 million in assets and 280 employees.

The Laureate Group has announced its intention to acquire the Gardens at Bayside, a community-based residential facility operated by the Lutheran Management Foundation Inc., which is controlled by The Lutheran Home Inc. The Bayside facility provides assisted living services and services for people with Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia. The transaction will require state approval. After the acquisition, the facility’s name will be changed to Bayside Terrace. Terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

The West National Avenue commercial corridor in Milwaukee has been designated as "Silver City" by the city.

The Total Health Center, a massage and neuromuscular therapy practice, has moved from Elm Grove to 2505 N. 124th St., Brookfield. Scott Mathison established the company 11 years ago. The office now includes three full-time therapists and one part-time practitioner, and has room for one more person.

Healthy Lifestyles, a weight management consulting company in Glendale, is under new ownership. Barbara Wesson, former owner, has turned over the company to Bonnie Frenkel.

Kalmbach Publishing Co. in Waukesha will launch BeadStyle, a new bi-monthly magazine on making beaded jewelry, on Aug. 5. BeadStyle is Kalmbach’s second entry in the fast-growing market. Its sister publication, Bead&Button, also is a bi-monthly.
The announcement of the new magazine was made at the Bead&Button Show at the Midwest Airlines Convention Center in Milwaukee. The show is the largest of its kind in the nation, with more than 300 vendors and 12,000 attendees from around the world.
Mindy Brooks is editor for the new magazine. She came to Kalmbach in 2000 as associate editor of Bead&Button and was named senior editor in 2001. Brooks has a BA in communications from Simmons College, Boston, and an MBA from Boston University. In 1985, Kalmbach published three magazines and employed 70 people. Today, the company publishes 15 magazines, more than 250 books and other products, and employs nearly 300 people.

Training grants

Several area entrepreneurs are among 17 statewide who will share $11,317 in awards from the Department of Commerce Entrepreneurial Training Grant (ETG) Program. The following will get $637 grants to attend the Entrepreneurial Training Program of the Small Business Development Centers and to develop business plans:
– John N. Carr, Milwaukee, to
evaluate the feasibility of expanding a restaurant;
– Glenda F. Cobbin, Racine, to evaluate the feasibility of starting a retail clothing business;
– Christopher J. Daniel, Racine,
to evaluate the feasibility of
starting a stress management consulting business.
– Cindy A. Estrup, Whitewater,
to evaluate the feasibility of purchasing a restaurant;
– Nelson D. Garzon, Milwaukee, to evaluate the feasibility of opening a bakery and pastry store;
– Daniel D. Jackson, Milwaukee, to evaluate the feasibility of
starting a transportation
contracting business;
– Lee E. Pogue, Kenosha, to evaluate the feasibility of starting a mobile car wash business;
– Marsha L. Sims, Milwaukee, to evaluate the feasibility of starting a bed and breakfast;
– Tammy L. Thomas, Racine, to evaluate the feasibility of opening a fitness and tanning business;
– Nathan A. Thompkins, Racine, to evaluate the feasibility of starting a sport equipment retail store;
– Edna J. Young, Racine, to
evaluate the feasibility of opening a preschool.
Entrepreneurs who wish to receive the training necessary to prepare their own business plans can also access the Entrepreneurial Training Grant Program. Further information is available from Jamie Wall at the Department of Commerce in Madison, at 608-267-0770.

WWBIC loans

Pizzazz Studios, a start-up business serving the local fabric arts community, has received a small business loan from the Wisconsin Women’s Business Initiative Corp. (WWBIC) to purchase equipment and inventory and to provide working capital. The new company, founded by Denise Cawley, focuses on teaching the techniques of basic and art quilting and custom fabric dying. The business also sells supplies and tools used in the quilting process at classes and via its Web site.
WWBIC also has funded the Milwaukee Mini Donut Co., an area festival mainstay since 1998. The loan will help the company establish a permanent location and expand its product line. The company, owned by Lars Wicklund, is now selling from a kiosk at North and Oakland avenues on Milwaukee’s East Side.
Another WWBIC loan is helping Christopher Lamb increase the commercial client list for his company, Professional Landscape Contractors. The year-old business provides landscape construction services to public works departments, commercial contractors and other customers.

June 27, 2003 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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