Personnel File


Peggy Roos is the new tax associate of McGladrey LLP. Roos will work in the firm’s Milwaukee location while also pursuing her certified public accountant certification.

Advertising & Public Relations

Cedar Brown has been hired as Z2’s public relations and social media strategist. He will lead Z2’s social media efforts both internally and for clients and will also support the public relations team. Brown has experience in sales, marketing, and social media strategy and execution. He most recently worked as a freelance social media specialist. Z2 is located in Pewaukee.

Banking & Finance

Mary Helmrich has joined Foundations Bank in Pewaukee as a commercial loan coordinator. Helmrich has more than 30 years of banking experience as a client services professional. Foundations Bank also recently hired Priti Lala as a universal banker. Lala has more than 15 years of banking experience.

Pam Farrell has been added to Cole Taylor Bank’s newly expanded Franklin office. Her title is vice president of commercial real estate. Previously, Farrell worked for Equitable Bank where she was a senior commercial lending officer specializing in commercial real estate.

Michael Piku joined Johnson Bank in Racine as vice president, small business underwriting manager. He has more than 23 years of financial services experience. Piku most recently served as credit risk officer for BMO Harris in Milwaukee. Johnson Bank also recently hired Carrie Storm and Karen Landry in the Milwaukee region. Storm will serve as vice president, relationship manager for the bank’s equipment leasing group and will be responsible for business development throughout Milwaukee, Green Bay and Racine. Landry is vice president, private banking relationship manager and will focus on the Brookfield, Elm Grove and Waukesha markets.

Associated Bank has named four new leaders to its Milwaukee team. The bank has promoted Jason Makowski to senior vice president, commercial project office director. Steve Opichka has been added as senior vice president, senior director of retail lending operations. Jamie Mesa has been hired as vice president, operations legal manager. Ramona Stadler has joined Associated Bank as branch manager at the Woodman’s Food Market location in Oak Creek.

Ed Krajcir, president of the Milwaukee office of Sunbelt Midwest, has been appointed Midwest Business Brokers & Intermediaries (MBBI) Wisconsin chapter president for 2013.

Building & Construction

Josh Johnson has joined VJS Construction Services (VJS), Pewaukee, as a senior estimator. Prior to joining VJS, Johnson worked for another construction firm as a senior estimator.

TOTAL Mechanical Inc., based in Pewaukee, has hired Edmund Hill as an account manager in the environmental services division. Hill has more than 25 years of experience in facilities management, CHVAC sales and maintenance services.


Joshua Morby and Kate Venne have been added to Capstone National Partners’ newly launched public affairs division. Morby has more than 15 years of media and public relations experience including serving as a deputy press secretary with Gov. Jim Doyle. He was most recently a consultant for several Wisconsin nonprofits and for-profit corporations. Venne has more than 14 years of experience in media and community relations including working with nonprofits, state and local governments, and large private institutions. Prior to joining Capstone, she was the director of communications at Marquette University. Capstone National Partners has offices in both Milwaukee and Washington, D.C.


Susan Snow, project manager, and Leanne Copus, accounting specialist, have recently joined Exhibit Systems in its new Brookfield office. Snow was most recently a trade show manager for Diversey Inc., where she oversaw production and execution for 20 different marketing events per year. Copus will work in accounting and administration. Prior to Exhibit Systems, she worked in accounting and payroll at Plastic Molded Concepts.


Max Wellenstein has been hired as Alverno College’s web and interactive marketing specialist. Wellenstein will oversee the college’s website and social media platforms as well as develop strategies, manage content and identify opportunities for web marketing. Prior to coming to Alverno, Wellenstein was the ecommerce manager for Rocket Clicks in Menomonee Falls.

Janelle Gabrielsen has been promoted to head coach of Concordia University Wisconsin’s (CUW’s) women’s volleyball team. She first served as the graduate assistant coach during the 2012 season. Gabrielsen came to CUW after a four-year playing career at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Gregory Ruffer has been appointed president and chief executive officer of the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music. Ruffer most recently served as the music department chair at the Patel Conservatory as well as chorus master for Opera Tampa, both at the Straz Center for the Performing Arts in Tampa, Fla. He has more than 25 years of experience in being a performing arts leader, conductor and voice teacher.

Health Care

Daren Allen has been hired as vice president of business development for Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative, based in Brookfield. Allen will handle the development of individual and small group products as well as the execution of sales and services to key stakeholders. Previously, Allen served as vice president, employee benefit sales manager at Associated Financial Group. He has more than 20 years of experience in the health insurance industry.

Hospitality & Entertainment

Paul Upchurch, president and chief executive officer of VISIT Milwaukee, has been elected chairman of the Governor’s Council on Tourism at the Wisconsin Department of Tourism. Upchurch has led VISIT Milwaukee since 2010 and has spent more than 30 years in the tourism industry, also serving as vice president of hotel operations at Marcus Hotels & Resorts.

Michael Belot has been appointed general manager of Destination Kohler at Kohler Co. in Kohler. Belot’s role includes lodging oversight of The American Club resort hotel, the Inn on Woodlake, Riverbend, River Wildlife, Kohler Water Spas, Sports Core, and all retail and commercial development. He will also assist with the 2015 PGA Championship. Belot has been with PGA of America since 2001. He most recently served as director of the 2012 Ryder Cup golf tournament at Medinah Country Club in Chicago.


HNI, New Berlin, has promoted April Weatherston to director of insurance services and Andrea Tarrell to director of marketing. The insurance brokerage firm also recently hired Erin Van Handel as marketing coordinator.

Legal Services

Rachel Farrington has joined Michael Best & Friedrich LLP’s Milwaukee office as an associate in the Intellectual Property Litigation Practice Group. Her experience involves representing clients in complex multi-patent, multi-party litigation. She has also handled patent and trademark litigation as well as intellectual property matters.

Alyssa Dowse is now an associate in the Labor & Employment Practice Group at Quarles & Brady LLP’s Milwaukee office. Dowse previously worked at Von Briesen & Roper S.C. in Milwaukee where she assisted administrators in the Internal Revenue Code and other regulations. Her experience includes advising clients in designing and administering qualified retirement plans, deferred compensation arrangements, and insured and self-insured welfare plans. She has also worked with private-for-profit employers, tax-exempt entities, faith-based institutions, and government on issues related to employee benefits.

Bud Bobber has been named vice chair of the Labor & Employment Practice at Foley & Lardner LLP. Bobber works in the firm’s Milwaukee office and will assist with the administration and implementation of initiatives within the practice. Bobber also is chair of Foley & Lardner’s professional development committee and specializes in wage and hour, trade secrets/noncompetition litigation, employee benefits and employment discrimination suits. He has a national practice centered on these areas.

Thomas Vance has been added to the Corporate Practice Group of Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C., based in Milwaukee. Vance helps clients in federal, state, and local tax matters – including planning investments and transactions – to achieve the lowest possible tax consequences. He also defends individuals facing tax authorities and is an adjunct professor of law at the University of Wisconsin Law School where he teaches advanced classes in taxation.


Tony Mills was recently hired by Gehl Foods, Germantown, as third shift operations manager.

James Walker, vice president of Case IH NAFTA for CNH in Racine has been elected to the board of directors for the Association of Equipment Manufacturers (AEM), headquartered in Milwaukee. As a director, Walker will help set the guidelines and operating policies of the association on behalf of its members in areas including public policy, equipment statistics and market information, trade shows, technical and product safety support, global business development, education/training, workforce development and worksite safety/ educational materials.


Thierry Leclercq, president and chief executive officer of Life Care Solutions for GE Healthcare, has taken on the role of March for Babies event chair in Milwaukee. March for Babies is March of Dimes’ signature annual campaign. Leclercq’s role relies heavily on raising awareness and funds to advance the scientific research and educational programs at the core of March of Dimes’ mission to prevent preterm births and birth defects. Today, GE employees support the charity through their own March for Babies Campaign.

Professional Organizations

The Waukesha County Business Alliance has expanded its board of directors with the appointment of Craig Coursin, president of MSI General Corp. in Oconomowoc, and Jerry Fons, president and founder of Executive Power LLC in Waukesha.

Utility Services

Lori Lorenz has joined the leadership team at Pewaukee-based American Transmission Co. as director of human resources. Lorenz was most recently vice president, human resources at Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee.

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