Wikk Industries sold to new owners

Hawthornes plan to expand product portfolio

Greendale-based Wikk Industries Inc. has been sold to new owners, Amy and Brian Hawthorne of Wauwatosa. The transaction closed June 25 for an undisclosed price.

Founded in 1980 by Lee Wikkerink, Wikk designs and manufactures automatic door activation systems, used by those with disabilities to access commercial buildings in the U.S., Canada and the UK. Its products include the silver “Push to open” buttons at accessible entrances. Wikk has 16 employees, all of whom will be retained at the existing 20,000-square-foot location, the Hawthornes said. The owner, Wikkerink’s daughter Lori Bedard, wanted to retire, so she directly solicited the Hawthornes to buy Wikk.

Brian Hawthorne was previously a vice president of sales and marketing at Johnson Controls International plc and would be selling to some of the same customers in his new role. Amy has a background in finance and operational performance improvement, so Brian said their skillsets are complementary.

“The ADA compliance market is only going to get bigger and bigger,” Brian said. “The government is enforcing it and more and more things are being required to be ADA-compliant, like bathrooms in airports or schools or universities or hospitals.”

He expects Wikk, which has less than $5 million in revenue, will grow at least at the pace of the national ADA compliance market, which is expanding at about 12 percent per year.

“We looked at over 100 businesses before we found the right fit for our skills and experiences, in addition to our desire to do something that has a positive impact on peoples’ lives,” Amy said.

The pair does not expect to make any major changes at Wikk, but will expand its offerings, Brian said.

“We’re going to keep it steady state but at the end of the day, there’s a tremendous opportunity,” he said. “We’re going to continue to add to our product portfolio to grow with existing customers.”

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Molly Dill, former BizTimes Milwaukee managing editor.

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