Businesses on the move

Posted on Apr 29, 2019 :: Business on the move
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Business development 

Milwaukee-based A.O. Smith Corp. acquired Water-Right Inc., an Appleton-based water treatment company, for $107 million.

Community First Credit Union has partnered with Fox Cities Sports Development, a subsidiary of the Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau, for naming rights. The new multi-sports complex being built in Grand Chute will be called the Community First Champion Center Fox Cities.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. announced it has authorized up to $800,000 in state income tax credits over the next three years for the Faith Technologies Excellerate Manufacturing project underway in Little Chute. The $20 million project is expected to create 275 jobs over the next three years. The amount of tax credits Faith Technologies will receive is contingent upon the number of jobs created during that period.

New North Inc., in collaboration with Advancing AI Wisconsin, launched the Digital Transformation Marketplace. The tool will help Wisconsin companies preparing for the impact of artificial intelligence and other disruptive technologies to connect with local technology and consulting services to assist them on their journey.

The Village of North Fond du Lac completed the sale of 4.83 acres in the Northgate Business Park to Milwaukee-based Johnstone Supply. The site will be home to a new 25,000-square-foot facility that is slated to be completed in the summer of 2020.

Shopko will lay off more than 1,700 employees by June 16 as the Ashwaubenon-based company finishes closing its stores, according to documents filed with the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development. The announcement follows one made in February that the retailer would lay off 1,000 employees at its stores and 140 employees at its headquarters. In addition, two New York investment firms have purchased 75 Shopko stores and the bankrupt retailer’s headquarters in Ashwaubenon. Monarch Alternative Capital and Raider Hill Advisors plan to lease, redevelop or sell the properties. Of the 75 stores being purchased, 25 are in Wisconsin.

Advocate Aurora Health assumed full ownership of Bay Area Medical Center, renamed Aurora Medical Center – Bay Area. Through the agreement, Advocate Aurora Health contributed $25 million to the formation and development of a new foundation, whose primary purpose is to support health and wellness programs in local communities and at Aurora Medical Center – Bay Area.

The Children’s Museum of Green Bay announced plans to move this spring to a location across from Bay Beach Amusement Park. Performa is designing the new space and Miron Construction Co. Inc. is handling the buildout. The museum will reopen its new location in early May.

Elevate97 acquired Colortech Signs and Graphics, a privately held sign company in Green Bay.

The Heart and Vascular Institute of Wisconsin opened in Appleton.

Bemis Healthcare Packaging launched Insura, a seal verification technology designed specifically for medical device packaging.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. provided a $90,000 Community Development Investment grant to the City of Fond du Lac to assist in the redevelopment of a vacant commercial building into the Livery Lofts. The mixed-use project will feature an upscale tavern and residential lofts.

Global technology solutions provider Saggezza acquired Milwaukee-based IT consulting, talent and software development firm Omni Resources, which got its start in Appleton and has an office there.

Festival Foods plans to construct a 67,000-square-foot store in Hales Corners.

Thrivent Financial has offered a voluntary severance package to employees with 10 or more years of experience in an effort to reduce expenses by $40 million during the next two years.

T.L. England Consulting joined The Connective as a preferred provider.

Nourish Farms in Sheboygan Falls plans to construct three new buildings on its property. Plans include adding a certified commercial kitchen, a greenhouse and gardens.

The Rosera Business Park, located at the southwest intersection of U.S. 141 and County Road A in Lena, became the fifth site in the New North region to be certified as Gold Shovel Ready.

A-mazing Events has expanded its services to include venue management services for venue property owners.

Ascension Wisconsin and Orthopedic & Sports Medicine Specialists are partnering to increase access to orthopedic services in the Fox Valley. OSMS physicians have begun seeing orthopedic patients at Ascension NE Wisconsin-St. Elizabeth Campus.

Meijer opened a 155,000-square-foot store in Sheboygan.

Construction news

Alliey + Co and Smet Construction held a groundbreaking for the LedgeCrest Reserve, a new $2 million, 9,460-square-foot wedding and event venue in De Pere. It’s expected to be complete on Aug. 1.

Frontier Builders & Consultants is working with Absolute Supply on an addition to its building on Bohm Drive in Little Chute. The expansion will double the size of the company’s existing building.

Hamann Construction began construction on a 117,900-square-foot Ceco pre-engineered manufacturing facility for Redline Plastics.

Miron Construction Co. Inc., in partnership with Bray Architects and Muermann Engineering, began an addition and renovations to Danz Elementary School, which is part of the Green Bay Area Public School District. Miron also is partnering with Gries Architectural Group to construct a new Camp Rokilio Welcome Center in Kiel.

Keller Inc. announced projects for the following organizations: Big Ring Storage, Appleton; Eternal Love Lutheran Church, Appleton; Kriete Truck, Sheboygan; La Clare Family Creamery, Malone; Casey’s General Store, Oshkosh; Living Water Lutheran Church, Oshkosh; Halquist Stone, Lisbon; Blackhawk Technical College, Monroe; Lunda Construction, Waukesha; Bell Ford, Arlington; and Nickerson Animal Health Center, Benton Harbor, Mich.

Quasius Construction completed an addition for Pine Haven Christian Communities in Sheboygan Falls.

Education news

Concordia University Wisconsin and Fox Valley Technical College are partnering to offer a bachelor’s degree in construction and trades management for FVTC students who have completed an associate degree in construction management technology. The classes will be offered at the CUW Appleton Center.

Inspire Sheboygan County, a collaboration of educators and employers whose mission is to connect students to career experiences, is expanding its base of operations to Lakeland University as part of a new partnership. Inspire will have access to office space at Lakeland’s main campus with a second location at Lakeland’s space in Jake’s Cafe in downtown Sheboygan.

The Teaching Press at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay premiered its first publication, a collection of poems by Tim Weyenberg. The Teaching Press is a new student-managed printing house on the UW-Green Bay campus being built from the ground up by undergraduates in a spring 2019 Book Editing Practicum course.

Lakeshore Technical College announced plans to relocate its Sheboygan campus to 1320 Niagara Ave. The space is undergoing renovations, and the college plans to move in by August or September, in time for the fall semester.


Four New North communities were named to the list of Best Places for Millennials to Move to in the U.S. 2019: Oshkosh-Neenah (No. 2), Sheboygan (No. 5), Appleton (No. 16) and Green Bay (No. 18).

Products Finishing magazine named Professional Plating Inc. to its list of best finishing shops in North America for 2019. named Sheboygan to its list of top 20 “Best Small Cities for Business.” ranked the Fox Valley Technical College nursing associate degree program third in Wisconsin and No. 1 in the New North region.

Little Food Co. won a $10,000 cash prize on entrepreneurship-themed TV show “Project PitchIt.” Founder Amanda Santoro plans to use the money to hire employees and invest in new equipment.

The Flexible Packaging Association honored Bemis Co. with the Highest Achievement Award and six additional gold and silver awards. The winning entries were a Molson Coors 12-Pack Cooler Bag featuring portable convenience, ConAgra Slim Jim Premium Smoked Sticks featuring textured film technology, and JBS-Swift Printed Ovenable Meat Packaging (OvenRite) featuring oven-safe technology.

The Wisconsin Technical College System board and Lakeshore Technical College honored Sargento Foods with a Futuremaker Partner award. Among other efforts, the partners work together to deliver apprenticeship opportunities and assure that what students learn in the classroom is what employers need in the field.

McMahon jointly accepted a national Excellence in Concrete Pavement Award from the American Concrete Pavement Association. The reconstruction of State 42 in Two Rivers received the Gold Award in the category of Municipal Streets and Intersections.

Forbes named Employment Resource Group Inc. in Appleton to its annual list of the nation’s top 200 executive search firms. ERG ranked No. 144 on the list out of more than 30,000 firms nationwide that specialize in filling positions with salaries of at least $100,000.

Element won two Gold ADDY Awards at the American Advertising Federation Fox River Ad Club’s 2019 ADDY Awards Show for its work on the Marion Body Works calendar and the Fox River landmark illustration series.

The Boldt Co. received two awards for its construction of Aurora Medical Center – Bay Area, a 335,000-square-foot replacement hospital, medical office building and cancer center in Marinette. The Associated General Contractors of America recognized the project as merit winner in the “Building New” category. It also received a Top Projects of 2018 award from The Daily Reporter.

The Daily Reporter recognized three Miron Construction Co. Inc. projects as part of its Top Projects of 2018 awards: Ho-Chunk Project Forward, Wittenberg, Black River Falls and Wisconsin Dells; the UW-Stevens Point Chemistry Biology Building, Stevens Point; and Pabst Farms Fleet Farm, Oconomowoc. 

Ahern contributed to six projects recognized in The Daily Reporter’s list of Top Projects of 2018.

CMD Corp. earned a place among the Best Places to Work in the Plastics Industry for the fifth consecutive year.

Three New North entries advanced to the finalist round in the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest: clearTREND Research, Appleton; PoWER, Appleton; and Skip and Co. Maritime, Fond du Lac.

Aurora BayCare Medical Center became the first and only hospital in Wisconsin to receive the DNV GL Healthcare Spine Surgery Program Certification.

Winsert Inc. earned recognition as a Partner-level supplier for 2018 in the John Deere Achieving Excellence Program, the company’s highest supplier rating.

Mercury Marine was recognized with an International Forum Design award in the Discipline Product category, presented to the company for its V-6 outboard lineup.

The Wisconsin Chapter of the ESOP Association recognized Van Horn Automotive Group as 2019 Company of the Year at its Annual Spring Conference. The ESOP Company of the Year award is presented to a company that demonstrates a commitment to employee ownership.

Butler Manufacturing recognized A.C.E. Building Service as a 2018 high-performance builder. Associated Builders & Contractors of Wisconsin also honored A.C.E. with a Gold Projects of Distinction Excellence in Construction award for the Skana Aluminum Co. casthouse expansion project in Manitowoc.

The City of Oshkosh honored companies and organizations at its Oshkosh State of the City awards. Neighborhood Associations awards: Sawyer-Paine Neighborhood Association and Millers Bay Neighborhood Association. Community Partnership awards: Experimental Aircraft Association for its dedication to community as it prepares to hold its 50th annual AirVenture; and Watco Companies and Wisconsin Department of Transportation for their role in opening the transload rail terminal in the city’s Southwest Industrial Park.

Lawrence University landed on a national list of colleges and universities that produced the most Fulbright scholars this year. Five new Lawrence graduates won Fulbright awards.

The Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources recognized the Helfenstein Soup Council of Green Bay in the Innovation category as part of its Wisconsin Recycling Excellence Awards. The award recognizes a program that demonstrates unique and innovative approaches to recycling.

The UA 400 Pipe Trades, Mechanical Contractors Association and Miller Electric recognized Kaukauna High School with the Excellence in Technical Education award for its commitment to technical education and support of the UA 400 Youth Apprenticeship program.

Paper Transport Inc. received two awards from Procter & Gamble: P&G Driver of the Year for driver Daniel Campbell and the Intermodal Carrier of the Year award.

Plymouth Utilities earned a Reliable Public Power Provider designation from the American Public Power Association for providing reliable and safe electric service.

Acuity was named to Forbes’ list of America’s Best Mid-Sized Employers.

Kaukauna High School and Mishicot High School received Excellence in Action awards at the 2019 Advance Career and Technical Education spring meeting in Maryland.

The Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce announced the winners of its 2019 Business Awards. Business of the Year award: Tundraland Home Improvement, service, large employer; The Chiropractic Advantage, service, small employer; Neenah Foundry, manufacturing. Company Innovation award: The Boldt Co., large employer; clearTREND Research, small employer. Corporate Citizen Leadership award: Fox Communities Credit Union, large employer; American National Bank Fox Cities, small employer. Coalesce Marketing and Design received the Exemplary Marketing Performance award. NOVO Health received the Rising Star award. The 2019 Business Awards recipients will be recognized at the annual Business Awards Luncheon on May 7 at the Red Lion Hotel Paper Valley.

Charitable giving and grants

Brown County United Way announced the investment of more than $1.1 million in grants to local human services programs to positively impact the one in three Brown County households struggling with the basic stability needs of education, health, financial wellbeing and connection to the community.

The Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region awarded six Bright Idea Fund grants totaling more than $136,000. Organizations receiving funds included: Valley Packaging, Child Advocacy Center, Calumet County Historical Society, City of Menasha Parks & Recreation, Fox Cities Greenways Inc. and Women’s Fund for the Fox Valley Region Inc.

The Greater Green Bay Community Foundation awarded $143,000 to 19 nonprofit organizations serving Brown, Kewaunee and Oconto counties through the Funds for Greater Green Bay grant program. Those receiving funds included: Boys & Girls Club of Greater Green Bay, Breast Cancer Family Foundation, CP, Greater Green Bay YMCA, Green Bay Area Public Schools, Green Bay Bicycle Collective, Jake’s Diapers, Junior Achievement of WI, N.E.W. Zoological Society, Oconto County Partnership, New Community Shelter, New Leaf Foods, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Educational Foundation, Options for Independent Living, Prevent Blindness Wisconsin, Service League of Green Bay, Unity Hospice, Wisconsin Humane Society and YWCA of Greater Green Bay.

The Women’s Fund of Greater Green Bay, a fund of the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation, awarded nine grants totaling $57,000 to local nonprofit programs: Franklin Middle School, Girl Scouts of the Northwestern Great Lakes, Girls on the Run Northeast Wisconsin, Green Bay Sail & Paddle, Hands on Deck, House of Hope, Medical College of Wisconsin-Green Bay, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College Educational Foundation and St. John the Evangelist Homeless Shelter.

Jewelers Mutual Group donated $15,000 to Pillars through a community matching campaign. In total, Pillars received more than $30,000 through the fundraiser.

Saving Paws Animal Rescue of Appleton received a $20,000 grant from the Petco Foundation to support the construction of a building to help house and care for dogs.

A two-year, $13,200 grant through the Agnesian HealthCare Foundation has provided Mahala’s Hope Wellness Center,
a women’s recovery residence, the opportunity to offer its clients yoga and fitness classes five days a week.

Unity Hospice in De Pere received a $10,000 Grief Reach grant from the New York Life Foundation to support its research into understanding the need for bereavement programs in the community.

Festival Foods partnered with packaged goods marketing agency Acosta to provide a $5,000 donation to two Wisconsin veterans organizations. Together, Festival Foods and Acosta will give the donation to the Wisconsin Veteran Trust Fund and Center for Veterans Issues.

The M&M Area Community Foundation launched the Future Fund, a philanthropic commitment to the educational future of every kindergarten student throughout Marinette and Menominee counties. The fund is a long-term savings account designed to encourage hope, build savings, assist with career training and postsecondary education expenses, and increase financial literacy among area youth. It will begin with the 2019-20 school year.

As part of the sixth annual Forward Together Award, WEA Trust awarded $3,000 grants to the Iola-Scandinavia School District, Chilton Public Schools and Neenah Joint School District to fund their innovative school projects.

This year’s winning proposals included three initiatives — the restoration of a school greenhouse, an aquaponics project that will enhance student learning in aquaculture and hydroponics and funding for a summer backpack program, providing books and learning materials to students.

Matthews Tire hosted Oil Change for the Better. For every regular-priced oil change performed for one week at all six locations, Matthews Tire donated $10 to WisconSibs, a nonprofit that provides programs and resources to siblings of kids with disabilities.

All the rest

Willems Marketing & Events Inc., producer for the annual Mile of Music festival, and Fox Communities Credit Union, one of the event’s original community collaborators when it launched in 2013, have reached agreement for the Appleton credit union to become Mile of Music’s new presenting sponsor.

Gov. Tony Evers approved more than $600,000 in funding for Wittman Regional Airport in Oshkosh, with $400,000 dedicated to developing a master plan for the airport and an additional $218,000 to be used for pavement maintenance.

Manitowoc Co. and Sany America Inc. and Sany Heavy Industry Co. entered into a consent decree and agreed to settle Manitowoc’s action in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin. The action sought damages for misappropriation of Manitowoc’s trade secrets.