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Positive-sum gain

The power of business and community partnerships

How would you react if a real-estate developer offered to replace your old church building with a newly constructed church for one dollar? What if you were offered a free custom-designed software application to improve your operations? Like me, you might ask, “What’s the catch?” Skeptics be warned, there is no catch.

When the spirit of generosity exists, inspiring actions follow. When that spirit germinates from passionate business leaders like Jim Tarantino and Brad Zepecki, good things happen in our community. I have the pleasure of working with both Jim and Brad and would like to share the rest of the story.

Jim Tarantino

Jim Tarantino, founder and principal of Tarantino & Company and Capri Communities, is building a new church for St. Rita’s Parish. In spring of 2020, Milwaukee’s Italian American community will celebrate mass in their brand new church. As part of the project, Jim is building an independent senior living community next to the church, which will be managed by Capri Communities. He has also involved the nearby elementary school in his plans to create an inter-generational community where young and old interact, learn and thrive together. This is not a one-off situation. Where Jim builds, he improves the community around him, whether he’s connecting high school students with future careers, universities with educational programming, employees with development opportunities or residents with active lifestyle options.

Brad Zepecki

Brad Zepecki is the founder of Octavian Technology Group, an advanced analytics and data science company that works with mid- to large-sized organizations to improve their business functionality. In 2017, he formed a nonprofit called Code The Way. Each year, Code The Way works with high school students on a 10-week project that teaches them the tools, coding languages and project management skills to create an app or system for a local nonprofit organization. Most recently, the students worked with the Convergence Resource Center, a 501©3 organization offering trauma care and support to survivors of human trafficking. Through his Code The Way initiatives, Brad helps local high school students develop technology skills and a sense of passion for creatively helping others – all while providing valuable technology support to other local nonprofits in need.

As Jim builds and manages new senior living communities and Brad solves business problems through analytics and data science, they improve the quality of life in southeastern Wisconsin through a sustainable model that aligns business with community. What can you do to create a win-win community partnership?

To learn more about Jim and Brad, visit

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