Wisconsin Oven Corp.

Top 10 award recipient

Brian Klockow, Matt Kacsur, Dave Cerroni, Teri Shaver, Thomas Price Jr., Joe Konyn,

Wisconsin Oven Corp.

2675 Main St., East Troy
Founded: 1973
Industry: Manufacturing
Employees: 115
2015 annual revenue: $30.8 million

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Wisconsin Oven Corp. is a true entrepreneur story. The company has survived and thrived through several challenges, including two acquisitions and a recession.

David Strand, current president and chief executive officer, started with the company in 1986 as a floor sweeper.

David Strand and the Wisconsin Oven Corp. team.
David Strand and the Wisconsin Oven Corp. team.

“I started out as the guy who did all the jobs that nobody wanted to do,” he said. “The company has a passion for its people and letting people from the organization be a part of the ideas.”

In 1993, Strand and a colleague, Duane Lauersdorf, designed and patented a product for the printing industry.

The equipment helped skyrocket the company’s annual revenue from $6 million to $20 million by 2000, Strand said.

Over the years, digital printing and other changes in the industry forced Wisconsin Oven to reinvent its business, product offerings and market focus.

Strand was named president in 2005, and helped lead the company to record revenues each year.

“The key is celebrating the wins,” Strand said. “We share results and we have a very open book policy. We let the employees know how the company is doing and we reward them for good performance.”

Today, Wisconsin Oven Corp. is the largest employer in East Troy.

The company has been acquired twice under Strand’s leadership, thanks to a continuous focus on innovation and a champion culture, he said.

Strand and the executive team first sold the company in 2012 to finance a much-needed manufacturing facility.

The team maintained leadership of the company, survived the Great Recession and in March 2015, Wisconsin Oven competitor Thermal Product Solutions purchased the company.

Strand was named president and chief executive officer of the entire TPS group, which includes facilities in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and California.

Moving forward, Strand and his team are focused on expanding the East Troy facility and developing each plant to be able to manufacture any product in the company’s line.

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