Executives will share business insights at Future 50 Luncheon

A panel discussion featuring three prominent southeastern Wisconsin business executives will keynote the 24th annual Future 50 Awards Luncheon on Thursday, Sept. 15, at the Pfister Hotel in downtown Milwaukee.

The featured panelists will be:

  • Paul Riedl Jr., chief executive officer of River Run Computers, a full-service information technology firm in Glendale. River Run Computers was founded in 1993 and is built on the mission of keeping its clients “up and running.” The firm specializes in the design, installation and maintenance of network systems.
  • Jane Dauffenbach, president of Aquarius Systems in North Prairie. For 45 years, the company has designed, manufactured and sold surface water management equipment across the United States and to 40 countries around the world. Dauffenbach is a member of several local and regional international trade organizations, serves on the Wisconsin District Export Council and is the current chair of the Wisconsin International Trade Council.
  • Peggy Coakley, owner of Coakley Brothers in Milwaukee. Coakley represents the fourth generation of her family to lead the company, which handles commercial and residential moves, facilities management, office design, planning and installation and records management. Under Coakley’s leadership over the past 10 years, the company has doubled its employment. Coakley is past president of the Sojourner Peace Center and co-founded Office Movers Alliance Worldwide, a nationally recognized industry consortium.

The panel discussion will be moderated by BizTimes executive editor Steve Jagler.

The Future 50 Awards are presented annually by the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC) and its Council of Small Business Executives (COSBE).

The awards recognize privately-owned companies in the seven-county Milwaukee region that have been in business for at least three years and have shown significant revenue and employment growth.

The luncheon will be held from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.

“Our Future 50 winners provide a good window into what’s on the economic horizon,” said Tim Sheehy, MMAC president. “Companies with exportable products and services will continue to drive job and income growth for the region.”

Combined, the 2011 Future 50 winners reported combined revenue of $734 million – a 28-percent increase over combined revenues for 2009, according to MMAC vice president Julie Granger. The companies had a total combined employment of 2,796, which represents a 25-percent increase over combined employment in 2009.

This year’s Future 50 winners reported a wide variety of strategies for thriving in challenging economic times. The most common approaches included adding to sales staff; investing in training and technology; focused marketing; and expanding markets.

Combined, the Future 50 winners are projecting 18-percent growth in revenue and 19-percent employment growth in 2011.

Mary Steinbrecher, COSBE’s executive director, said, “It is encouraging to see such a strong showing of diverse businesses make the list this year. Given their projections for growth in 2011 and beyond, we seem to be putting the worst of the economic downturn behind us.”

BizTimes invites its readers to attend the Future 50 Awards Luncheon. To view a list of the winners and register to attend, visit www.mmac.org.

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