Innovation a common denominator in the New North

Posted on Dec 30, 2019 :: Editor , Editor’s Insights
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

Sometimes in this job, you come across a story that’s so compelling you can’t wait to share it. That was definitely the case when I first met with Lance Crane, president of Crane Engineering, and learned about the mobile sewage treatment plant his company is building with the support of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve sanitation in the slums of Africa and India.

Last summer, he took me to the Heart of the Valley Metro Sewage Plant to see the company’s Oystra system in action. The technicians pulled a bottle full of untreated liquid that was coming into the plant and ran it through the Oystra. In just a minute or so, clean water came out the other side. It was definitely a “wow” moment. You can learn more about Crane Engineering and its Oystra project in this month’s cover story starting on page 22.

Give BIG Green Bay will hold its third annual event this February, and it’s amazing to see what the one-day fundraiser has accomplished in its first two years. A project between the Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and the Green Bay Packers Foundation, the goal is to raise as much money as possible for local nonprofits — many of which have their donations matched. To learn more, read Casey Britten’s For the Love feature starting on page 20.

Being an entrepreneur isn’t easy, but that hasn’t dissuaded Marianna “Yana” DeMyer. The founder and CEO of Roving Blue Inc. in Lena continues to look for ways to commercialize the company’s technology of using ozone to clean water. In this month’s Personalities feature starting on page 12, DeMyer tells Insight Associate Editor Jessica Thiel about her plans to grow the business, such as providing services to businesses that may need to clean out their fluid lines regularly.

Roving Blue, by the way, was a finalist for the 2019 Insight Innovation Awards. The awards honor innovation in four categories: People, Planet, Process and Product. In addition, a special award is given each year. The awards are a wonderful way to celebrate innovation in the New North. Nominations for the 2020 Insight Innovation Awards are now open.

Please visit for more information or to nominate a company (even your own). Nominations close Feb. 15. We’ll have more information about the May 14 event as it gets closer. I can’t wait to see all the nominations come in and learn more about the innovative work of companies and organizations in the region.



Listen to Lance Crane, CEO of Crane Engineering, discuss the importance of the Kimberly company’s core values and the role they play in decision-making.

Crane’s interview is just one of many you will find online at

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Oshkosh Business Expo
The Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce Business Expo helps businesses increase brand awareness, share information about themselves and discuss job openings. This year’s expo will be held from noon to 7 p.m. Jan. 30 at the Oshkosh Convention Center. Visit to sign up to be an exhibitor or learn more about the event.

Get updated on the latest news in economic development and commercial real estate at the 11th annual InDevelopment, which will be held March 18 at the Best Western Premier Waterfront Hotel and Convention Center in Oshkosh. The event features keynote speaker Michael Belot, senior vice president of Bucks Ventures and Development, and presentations on some of the area’s most important projects.