Manufacturing Odds & Ends

Interim CEO to leave JHT Holdings
Kenosha-based JHT Holdings Inc. announced today that when it exits from Chapter 11 bankruptcy later this month, James Welch will leave his position as interim chief executive officer of the firm and become a director with the company.

Welch will become president and chief executive officer of Dallas, Texas-based  Dynamex Inc., a provider of delivery and logistics services, effective Nov. 1.

JHT, a holding company whose subsidiaries provide heavy- and medium- duty truck transportation services, received approval of its reorganization plan this week from Judge Brendan Shannon of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Delaware.

"We are grateful to James for his exceptional leadership during this important transition for JHT Holdings," said Clete Willems, executive vice president of JHT. "He led us through a successful financial reorganization, and we are excited for his new opportunity."

Willems said the company has begun its search for a new CEO.

"I am proud to have been a part of the exceptional leadership team at JHT Holdings," Welch said. "I have been impressed with their professionalism, hard work and commitment to excellence. That commitment was evident in the way the management team led the company through the financial reorganization. We promised we’d exit from Chapter 11 within six months; instead we did it in four months. We assured our customers that we would maintain the highest levels of customer service throughout the reorganization and we have. The company has a very bright future ahead of it."

Welch joined JHT in September 2007 as interim CEO to guide it through its Chapter 11 excursion.

South Suburban Chamber plans trip to China
The South Suburban Chamber, which serves businesses in Oak Creek and Franklin, is working with its member, Citslinc International, to sponsor a trip to China for chamber members, families and friends.

The dates for the South Suburban Chamber’s travel to China are March 27 through April 4, 2009. The locations to be visited will include Beijing, Suzhou, Hangzhou and Shanghai with visits to Tiananmen Square, the Temple of Heaven, Forbidden City, the Great Wall, Ming Tombs and the Lingering Garden, Tiger Hill and Hanshan Temple in Shanghai and more.

Citslinc International, the chamber member travel agency that is organizing the trip, has taken more than 10,000 chamber members and business people with their families and friends to China since 1995.

The cost is $1,799 for the nine-day trip per person, based on double occupancy. The cost includes airfare, hotel accommodations, all travel in China on a deluxe tour bus, a tour guide and three full meals per day.

Registration is due by Nov. 15. For more information about the South Suburban Chamber’s trip, call (414) 768-5844.

For insight about doing business in China, read SBT China correspondent Einar Tangen’s Dispatches From China at

UW-Whitewater opens center to help displaced GM workers
The University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and Forward Janesville have created a partnership to provide services and support for the displaced workers and small businesses to be affected by the closure of the General Motors Corp. plant in Janesville.

The partnership includes a satellite office of UW-Whitewater’s Small Business Development Center (SBDC) in Janesville. The facility will provide a direct connection to UW-Whitewater and will offer easier access to clients needing business counseling services. The satellite project is expected to continue for at least three years.

Forward Janesville president John Beckord said, "Much of the economic success of Rock County over that past 100 years can be traced to local citizens deciding to develop an idea into a business venture. Entrepreneurship is part of our community’s DNA. I am excited about the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s decision to be a partner with Forward Janesville to make this SBDC satellite a reality. Our intent is to encourage more small business development, employment opportunities, and investment."

Ronald Gayhart, director of the SBDC said, "Sustaining existing business and assisting with the launch of new ventures will be enhanced by being closer to the customer in the downtown Janesville setting,. Training, counseling and development of growth strategies are some of the services available from the Small Business Development Center."

The overarching goal of the SBDC satellite is to accelerate job creation and business formation.

The Whitewater and Janesville communities and the public are invited to attend Forward Janesville’s showcase of the new SBDC satellite on Thursday, Oct. 9, at 5 p.m. in downtown Janesville.

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