Business on the move

Posted on Nov 29, 2020 :: Business on the move
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Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Business development 

Jewelers Mutual Group acquired Wexler Insurance Agency/IJB of Miami, one of the world’s largest insurance agencies dedicated to providing risk management solutions to the jewelry industry.

Recreational boat and yacht dealer MarineMax of Clearwater, Fla., acquired SkipperBud’s and its affiliate, Silver Seas Yachts, which, according to a press release, combined to generate $220 million in revenue in 2019.

KerberRose acquired Wolosek & Wolosek Certified Public Accountants, S.C. in Wisconsin Rapids.

Hoffmaster Group launched Bio-Shield, antimicrobial products that use silver ion technology to create a permanent barrier on the surface of disposable napkins, placemats, hand towels and tray mats that prevents bacteria and fungi from spreading from one surface to another.

Appvion Operations Inc. launched packaging products under its new MISSION ZERO portfolio of sustainable products.

TitletownTech invested in Synthetaic, a Wisconsin-based synthetic data company growing high-quality data to unlock formerly impossible artificial intelligence. 

Marco acquired Advanced Office Systems, a copier and printer company in Roselle, N.J.

Studio 44, a commercial photography, video and CGI studio specializing in food, consumer products, and location shoots, is now operating under the ownership of Shaun Pitts, an experienced photographer and cinematographer.

Faith Technologies installed the first 150kW ABB Direct Current Fast Charger in the state of Wisconsin. The DC Fast Charger will allow Class 8 (heavy-duty) trucks to charge within two hours.

Fabio Perini North America, which is headquartered in Green Bay, was rebranded as Körber. Körber also launched Pivot Solutions, the new center of excellence for its tissue business that combines its skills in converting, knowledge of embossing solutions of engraving solutions and Roll-Tec, and the ability to analyze machine data and the quality of the products of the Pivot laboratories.

Kundinger launched a new product line featuring Parker Hannifin Electromechanical and Drives Division products. This partnership expands Kundinger’s industrial automation offerings to complement its hydraulic and pneumatic mechanical products.

New Sage Strategies launched a Women’s Leadership Academy intended for women at any stage in their career and offering five educational modules. To learn more, visit newsagestrategies.com/wla.

True North M&A (Canada), Portage M&A Advisory (Canada) and Forward Corporate Finance (United Kingdom) joined the Cornerstone International Alliance. The Green Bay-based alliance is comprised of 19 M&A and investment banking firms, focused exclusively on the lower middle market.

Performa Inc. opened a new office in Atlanta.

U.S. Gain was selected to supply renewable natural gas to Rogue Valley Transportation District in Oregon for use in its fleet of buses.

Business comings and goings 

Holy Family Memorial Spine Clinic opened in Manitowoc.

New North, Inc. moved its offices to Room BT334 within the College of Business at the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College in Green Bay.

Bank First announced it will close its Weyauwega branch at the end of January. The decision followed a review of bank operations and the bank’s branch network, factoring in the close proximity of the bank’s newly remodeled Waupaca location as well as the increased use of online and mobile banking services among its customer base.

The DiamondVu Agriculture Education Center opened in Sheboygan Falls.

Leicht’s Waldo Café opened under new ownership in Waldo.

Lunar and Lake Book Market opened in Fond du Lac.

Construction news

Lakeland University broke ground on the largest single investment in the main campus in the institution’s 158-year history. In April, Lakeland received a $35.4 million fixed-rate low interest loan from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Rural Development division. It will use $26 million to construct two new residence halls to serve freshmen and sophomores, a water tower and related infrastructure. The remaining $9.4 million will be used to refinance the university’s existing long-term debt.

Construction on TownePlace Suites by Marriott in Oshkosh is underway. Kinseth Hospitality Co. and American Companies teamed up for the 103-suite hotel, which is part of the Lake Shore Plaza Development near Oshkosh Corp.

Immel Construction, in partnership with Somerville Inc., completed the renovation of the second-floor exam and treatment space for Bellin Health’s Titletown Sports Medicine and Orthopedics Clinic.

Bayland Buildings announced it is completing or has completed projects for the following organizations: Titletown Oil/Stadium Shell, Green Bay; The Workshop, Hobart; Inspirit Therapy and Wellness Center, Ledgeview; The Dorr Hotel, Egg Harbor; The Marketplace by Bliss, Sturgeon Bay; The Fort at the Rail Yard, Green Bay; My Place Hotel, Ashwaubenon; and SmitCo Eateries/Popeye’s Louisiana Kitchen, Green Bay.

The Village of Harrison Board approved ordinances for amendments to the comprehensive plan and zoning map, conditional use permit, and certified survey map that will allow a Lexington Homes project to proceed. The project will include a 12-building development with 144 single and multi-family residential units on Midway Road.

Construction is nearing completion on the Berkshire Sheboygan Falls historic senior and townhome apartment development.

Keller Inc. is completing projects for the following organizations: Plymouth Industries, Plymouth; Factory Motor Sports, Appleton; Manderfield’s Home Bakery, Menasha; Women’s Care of Wisconsin, Neenah; Village Auto, Green Bay; Modern Sheet Metal, Neenah; Pittsville School District, Pittsville; and Karl’s Family Dentistry, Waunakee.

Luxemburg-Casco School District opened its new middle school and debuted renovations and an upgraded auto/metals shop at its high school.

The Boldt Co. was selected along with two partners, Herrero Builders Inc. and Webcor, to build the University of California-San Francisco’s new Parnassus Heights hospital.

The Door County Maritime Museum selected Southern Custom Exhibits  as the exhibits general contractor for the Jim Kress Maritime Lighthouse Tower, which overlooks Sturgeon Bay’s working waterfront. The Boldt Co. is the building’s general contractor.

 Education

Future Fox Cities, an annual talent awareness and career exploration event of the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce, will be held virtually on March 3. Registration is open for business vendors and schools at foxcitieschamber.com.

The Kiel Area School District partnered with Lakeshore Technical College on its College Here & Now program, which offers students a chance to earn a technical diploma in IT by the time they complete high school, without ever leaving their school and with zero tuition costs to students and their families.

Lakeshore Technical College received a competitive Child Care Access Means Parents In School program grant to support student-parents who are facing obstacles to successful program completion. The four-year $30,000 grant will support child care fee assistance, holistic support for child care selection, case coordination for recipients, and funding for educational and family enrichment activities.

UW-Oshkosh is teaming up with Agra Energy to use new technology to convert biogas into renewable energy. The renewable solution makes use of Agra Energy’s Micro-GTL (gas-to-liquids) technology that converts methane-rich biogas into liquid fuels that meet diesel fuel specifications.

UW-Green Bay is launching a new noncredit Sustainability Certificate Program in January. The certificate program will educate business professionals to implement sustainable decisions into their everyday roles to make a positive impact on their organization and the world around them.

LendEDU ranked St. Norbert College No. 46 in the country and No. 1 in Wisconsin in its report on financial aid.

The Fox Cities Performing Arts Center will offer an all-virtual 2020-21 Amcor Education Series as part of the center’s commitment to providing educators and students accessible arts education programming. The PAC will remain closed through spring.

The STEM center within Brillion Middle School is undergoing a renovation that adds more natural light, work space and storage space.

Awards/recognitions/milestones

Great Northern StrataGraph received two excellence awards as part of the North American Paperboard Packaging Competition: one in the Digital Application category and one in the General Packaging category.

The Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau received the Destinations Wisconsin Trailblazer Award – Destination Development for its leadership and collaboration on the Community First Champion Center. It also received a $39,550 year-two Joint Effort Marketing grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism for continued development, implementation and support of the Fox Cities Originals brand.

Mercury Marine earned a Focus Energy 2020 Energy Efficiency Excellence Award. Since joining forces with Focus on Energy and Alliant Energy in 2018 to implement energy-efficient upgrades, Mercury Marine has completed several energy-saving projects at its company headquarters in Fond du Lac.

Pierce Manufacturing received the Focus on Energy 2020 Energy Efficiency Excellence Award. It recognizes Pierce’s commitment to reducing energy waste and making smart energy decisions that will bring lasting change to the environment, as well as lower energy costs to help make the state’s economy more globally competitive.

Dataiku, a global Enterprise AI and machine learning platform, named Excelion Partners as its 2020 Emerging SI Partner of the Year.

Vye was named the 2020 Grow Better Website Design regional winner for the HubSpot Q3 Impact Awards.

The Oshkosh Food Co-op was accepted into the National Co+op Grocers, which brings together retail food co-ops to share branding, marketing, data analytics and purchasing power.

Ahern was named in several Engineering News-Record rankings: 78th out of 600 overall, third in the Top 20 Firms in Fire Protection and Sprinklers, 10th in the Top 20 Firms in Sheet Metal, and 40th in the Top 50 Firms in Mechanical.

Paper Converting Machine Co. received an Innovation Award for the introduction of the Meridian Elite laser anilox cleaner as part of the Label Industry Global Awards 2020.

The Appvion Operations Inc. Appleton plant achieved 500,000 safe man hours without a recordable injury.

The Door County Economic Development Corp. presented its 2019 awards. Door County Cooperative in Sturgeon Bay was named Industry of the Year, and Mitch Larson of On Deck Clothing Co. in Sturgeon Bay was named Entrepreneur of the Year.

The Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council designated KI with the Green Master level within its Green Masters Program.

Acuity ranked No. 1 in the nation on Glassdoor’s list of 20 Highest-Rated Companies for Work-Life Balance During COVID-19. It also earned three awards from ACORD in 2020, including the ACORD Millennial Women’s Insurance Advancement Award and two ACORD Case Study Awards. ACORD is a nonprofit organization recognized as the global standards-setting body for the insurance and related financial services industries.

Verve, a Credit Union was named to the Credit Union Journal’s Best Credit Unions to Work For list.

Bank First was named one of the Best Banks to Work For in 2020. The program, which was initiated in 2013 by American Banker and Best Companies Group, honors U.S. banks for outstanding employee satisfaction.

Egg Harbor in Door County received the Governor’s Tourism Award—Stewardship Award for developing environmental sustainability practices. Egg Harbor became a Green Tier Legacy community in 2017, which means village leaders work with the state’s Department of Natural Resources, among other partners, to enhance eco-friendly practices.

Campus Pride named UW-Green Bay to its list of Top 40 Best of the Best LGBTQ-friendly Colleges & Universities.

The National Association of RV Parks and Campgrounds presented two awards to Evergreen Campsites & Resort in Wild Rose: Large Park of the Year and the Large/Mega Green Park of the Year.

Match Grade Medical, a developer of orthopedic surgical equipment in Neenah, was named a top 10 finisher in the 2020 Wisconsin Innovation Awards. It designs orthopedic surgical equipment.

Unitel Inc. was named 2020 U.S. Partner of the Year by Sangoma Technologies, owner of Asterisk software.

Pine Haven Christian Communities achieved a ranking of High Performing for both short-term rehabilitation and long-term care in U.S. News & World Report’s list of 2020-21 Best Nursing Homes.

Rocky Knoll Health Care Center in Plymouth, in collaboration with Sheboygan-based VibeTech, was recognized by McKnight’s Long-Term Care News and McKnight’s Senior Living as a Gold winner in the 2020 McKnight’s Excellence in Technology Awards in the Skilled Care Track’s Innovator of the Year category.

HSHS St. Vincent Hospital received certification from DNV GL Healthcare as a Comprehensive Stroke Center, reflecting the highest level of competence for treatment of serious stroke events.

Prevea Health became the first organization in the Greater Green Bay region to treat carotid artery disease and prevent future strokes using a new procedure called TransCarotid Artery Revascularization, a clinically proven, minimally invasive and safe approach for high-surgical-risk patients who need carotid artery treatment.

Network Health received a 4.5-star rating from Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services for its Medicare Advantage PPO plans, outranking the national average of 4 stars.

Charitable Giving and Grants

Gov. Tony Evers announced new funding from the federal CARES Act: a $10 million investment aimed at providing economic stabilization for nonprofit organizations providing critical services during COVID-19, $50 million in funding for an additional round of Child Care Counts payments for early care and education, and $5 million each for the Hunger Task Force and Feeding Wisconsin to help state residents experiencing food insecurity during the pandemic. The latter announcement brings the total investment in Wisconsin’s agricultural and food industries during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic to $75 million.

The Wisconsin Department of Administration awarded $15 million in grants to arts and cultural organizations adversely affected by COVID-19. Several organizations throughout the New North received funds. To view the list of awards, visit doa.wi.gov/DEO/COG-NoticeofAward.pdf.

Fond du Lac County was one of six communities selected for the state’s new Broadband Connectors Pilot program cohort. The joint pilot program will help provide technical assistance to help these communities apply for federal, state, and private-sector broadband expansion funds.

The Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region released its 2020 annual report. It awarded $30.5 million in grants to more than 1,300 nonprofit organizations, taking the total grants awarded in its 34-year history to $356 million. For fiscal year 2020, which ended June 30, the grants total was a record $1.24 million in scholarships from more than 200 scholarship funds awarded to 434 students from 60 high schools.

The Fond du Lac Area Foundation received its largest single donation in organizational history to date, an estate gift worth more than $3.8 million used to establish the Jim and Jackie Marcoe Fund.

The Green Bay Packers Foundation distributed $1 million in annual grants to 237 civic and charitable groups throughout the state.

Endries International and Professional Plating founders Bob and Pat Endries announced that through Oct. 31, 2023, they are matching dollar-for-dollar up to $500,000, all donations to the Brillion Area Community Endowment Fund, which will support Brillion area nonprofit work.