Business transitions

New products, new services new locations, new businesses
Link Community Financial Services, a cooperative venture of Community BANCGROUP and a leading local investment firm, has opened a new office on the premises of Lincoln State Bank at 14000 W. National Ave. at the corner of Sunnyslope Road in New Berlin. Link opened its first office in the Franklin State Bank building at 7000 S. 76th St. in Franklin, earlier this year.
According to Edward H. Cichurski, president of Community BANCGROUP Financial Services, “Link Community Financial Services has been so successful in assisting investors during these volatile times that we have opened an additional office in New Berlin, an area vital to the expansion of our services. Our customers can come to us for something as simple as a single stock transaction or as complex as a multi-faceted retirement program. As opposed to many brokerage houses or other investment firms, we partner with a variety of providers with a demonstrated capability in offering such services as brokerage transactions, mutual funds, advanced investment tools, insurance and individualized financial strategies.”
Richard Finco, a Link representative, will be located at the New Berlin office. He holds an MBA and is a Certified Long-Term Care Consultant (CLTC.
In addition to the Franklin and New Berlin offices, Link is planning to open several more centers in the next two years.
Andrew Automotive Group has enhanced its technology and has added square footage at its facility at 1500 W. Silver Spring Dr. in Glendale. The upgrade includes auto robots that computerize measurements for repairs within a new 14,000-square-foot collision-repair facility.
“The computerized system allows us to measure within two millimeters of factory specs for extensive repairs, which ultimately saves time and money while enhancing accuracy,” said body shop director Steve Marek.
The auto group includes Chevrolet, Nissan and Toyota dealerships. The collision-repair center accommodates all makes and models of vehicles, said president and owner Andy Schlesinger. The addition of the facility makes the company a full-service operation. Previously, the business sent its body work to other companies.
Big Systems has moved to a new location, purchasing a building of approximately 6,000 square feet at 12599 W. Lancaster Ave. in Butler. Company President Dave Thornton said the new facility provides expanded warehouse and shipping facilities. It previously rented space in Brookfield.
Big Systems was founded in 1994 as a dealer of digital printing equipment.
The business service firm Schenck & Associates has changed its name to Schenck Business Solutions – introducing a new brand identity, and has consolidated its Milwaukee facilities in a 16,000-square-foot office space at 11414 W. Park Pl. on Milwaukee’s far northwest side. Schenck consolidated offices in Brookfield and Fox Point at the Liberty One at Park Place location, in a move handled by Wangard Partners of Wauwatosa.
The name change “better represents who we are and all of the services we offer,” said Kermit Ellefson, president of Schenck Business Solutions, which has its headquarters in Appleton. The firm, founded more than 70 years ago, now has 12 offices in Wisconsin and more than 550 employees.
Along with the name change, the company has introduced a new, elliptical-shaped logo that Ellefson says “illustrates the firm’s business direction – forward, it’s range of services – sweeping, and its innovative solutions – unbound.” The logo features a contemporary “person” with arching limbs “that personifies the fluid and constant flow of unique ideas the firm produces in this ever-changing world,” he added. The logo goes along with a new tag line, “Better People. Better Results.”
Menomonee Falls-based Cousins Subs has opened a new store at 3815 N. Brookfield Rd. in the Towne Centre shopping center in Brookfield. The new location will be operated by Bill Specht Jr., son of Cousins co-founders Bill and Sandy Specht, and by Nick and Kim Gierach, friends of the Specht family. The new operators have extensive experience within the Cousins system, Specht Jr. with 14 years and Nick Gierach with nine years of sandwich making and store managing, and Kim Gierach with experience in the corporate office.
Cousins William Specht and James Sheppard started the sandwich restaurant in Milwaukee in 1972; there are now 38 company stores. In addition, the company has 128 franchise locations in 10 states. The company has three company stores and 200 franchise stores under development. Its newest markets are Los Angeles and San Diego.
With the promotion of Mark Widmann, the CPA firm Sitzberger & Co. is now known as Sitzberger, Widmann & Co. Widmann has been a shareholder with the firm since last year, and has more than 20 years’ of public accounting experience.
A business featuring upscale cat and dog beds – The Barking Cat — has opened in Wauwatosa. Brothers John and Chad Reimer have founded the business, which is currently being operated out of John’s home but which will eventually be expanded to store-front operation with a variety of upscale pet products, John said. Manufacturing is being contracted out to area woodcrafting firms.
Business has been good so far, John said, with publicity generated at a July show in Los Angeles, and with mention in the current issue of Dog Fancy magazine as one of the most innovative pet products of the year, the Barking Cat is also marketing products off its Web site, Products are being shipped throughout the US, John said.
Along with the beds, the firm is also offering the Kitty Kabinet – a litter box is enclosed in a cat-accessible cabinet. The firm also has feeding stations as well as fish tank stands and hoods.
Wireless telephone industry veteran Tim Dunne has returned to the industry with the opening of Dunne’s Digital City, with locations at 3815 N. Brookfield Rd. in Brookfield and at 6734 W. North Ave. in Wauwatosa. The stores offer telephone services and products from a variety of digital companies, such as VoiceStream, Nextel and SunCom.
Dunne intends to open two or three more stores in the coming year.
He was a former owner of Carphones Plus.
The certified public accounting firm of Bray & Co. has moved to 11707 W. North Ave. in Wauwatosa, 10 blocks west of its former location.
KeleMarie Lyons, formerly a principal of H2D, a Milwaukee-based corporate image management firm, has launched Pinnacle XL. The firm is a full-service consultancy offering strategy and implementation planning for sales, marketing, operations and finance areas.
Pinnacle XL is located at 1915 N. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Dr. in Milwaukee.
Beamee and Creative Media Works have formed a partnership.
Beamee is an interactive new-media company that offers Web design and development, e-commerce, CD-ROM, corporate identification, and print-material services. Most recently, the company added mobile Internet services for cell phones, pagers and PDAs.
Creative Media Works is a marketing communications firm specializing in brand building, public relations, Internet strategy, promotions, copywriting and collateral design.
“We feel the partnership is unique for this market where few local Web companies combine traditional marketing strategies with these evolving technologies,” said Todd Dunsirn, president of Beamee.
The two companies share office space at 301 N. Water St. in Milwaukee.
Dec. 7, 2001 Small Business Times, Milwaukee

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