Catalyst Exhibits named Kenosha County’s Business of the Year

KABA announces 2019 Ovation Awards winners

Catalyst Exhibits is the 2019 Kenosha County Business of the Year.
Catalyst Exhibits is the 2019 Kenosha County Business of the Year.

Catalyst Exhibits, a tradeshow display and exhibit manufacturer that moved from Illinois to Pleasant Prairie in 2011, has been named the 2019 Business of the Year by the Kenosha Area Business Alliance.

Catalyst Exhibits highlights the list of winners for KABA’s annual Ovation Awards, which recognize top performing Kenosha County businesses and business leaders, and their support of the community. Winners are chosen by a selection committee, which includes previous Ovation Award winners, KABA staff and board members, BizTimes Media, and representatives from the University of Wisconsin-Parkside, Gateway Technical College and Carthage College.

The Ovation Awards winners will be recognized at a banquet event on Thursday, Nov. 7, at UW-Parkside, from 4:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. BizTimes Media is a partner with the event.

Founded in 1998, Catalyst Exhibits specializes in the design, development, fabrication and management of exhibits for tradeshows and expos. The company moved from Crystal Lake, Illinois to a 144,000-square-foot building in LakeView Corporate Park in Pleasant Prairie. The company has added more than 70 employees to its workforce since moving to Pleasant Prairie.

Other Ovation Awards winners:

Kitchen Cubes LLC is the 2019 Small Business of the Year. Based in Bristol, the company provides kitchen cabinets and countertops for retail and wholesale markets. Kitchen Cubes was founded in 2008 by brothers Jake and Zach Molgaard. The company now has 50 employees and recently expanded its facility.

Michael Thompson, the president and chief executive officer of Fair Oaks Farms LLC is the 2019 Entrepreneur of the Year. Thompson purchased a majority interest in the meat products company in 2003. He led a turnaround of the company, which now has 260 employees. Earlier this year, the company was named Company of the Year by Black Enterprise magazine.

The 2019 Forward Award winners (companies or organizations that have expanded, invested or developed programs or initiatives that helped move Kenosha County forward):

  • Advocate Aurora Health Care, which is building a $130 million health care facility in Pleasant Prairie.
  • Boys & Girls Club of Kenosha, which since 2015, through numerous initiatives, has grown its daily attendance 249%, serving 234 kids per day. Since 2015, its revenue is up 39%.
  • Kenosha County, which has worked to improve the county’s infrastructure and parks and has worked with KABA to fund a High Impact Economic Development Fund.
  • SL Montevideo Technology Inc., a manufacturer of high performance electric motors, drives and controllers for the aerospace and commercial markets. The company moved its headquarters from Minnesota to Pleasant Prairie, bringing 60 additional jobs to the community, and recently completed a $2.7 million, 63,000-square-foot expansion of its Pleasant Prairie facility
  • University of Wisconsin-Parkside, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary. The university has added new academic programs and facilities, including the App Factory and the SC Johnson Integrated Science Lab.

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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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