Regional Round Up

Posted on Sep 19, 2011 :: Up Front
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer


Brown, Calumet, Outagamie, Winnebago, Fond du Lac counties

Area travelers get new destination via Outagamie

Allegiant Air will begin offering twice-weekly flights to Phoenix from Outagamie County Regional Airport in Greenville starting Nov. 10.

“This is great news for us as Phoenix is one of our top 10 destinations,” says Airport Director Marty Lenss. “The Phoenix-Mesa announcement is a testament to Allegiant’s continued confidence in the region’s market, a confidence that stems from the community’s strong response to Allegiant’s non-stop service to Las Vegas and Orlando.”

The flights will be offered on Sundays and Thursdays. Complete flight information can be found

on the airport’s website at


Work starts this fall on new VA clinic in Green Bay

Construction will begin this fall on the new $60 million veterans’ health clinic in Green Bay.

Summit Smith Healthcare Facilities, a division of CD Smith Construction in Fond du Lac, is developing the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ outpatient clinic at 2800 University Ave., Green Bay. The clinic is designed to improve health care for veterans throughout Northeast Wisconsin, who currently may need to travel to Madison or Milwaukee to receive some services.

The 192,000-square-foot center will include ambulatory surgery services, a specialty clinic, a women’s clinic, mental health services, cardiology and diagnostic imaging.

When completed in the spring of 2013, an estimated 200 people will work at the center.


Solberg Co. building new headquarters in Howard

The Solberg Co. is building a new business headquarters and manufacturing facility in Howard that could bring 20 to 25 jobs to the area.

Solberg, a global supplier of firefighting foam concentrates and equipment, expects the 26,800-square-foot building at 1520 Brookfield Ave. – valued at about $3.5 million – will be complete within the year.

The new facility is spread over two buildings and includes offices, manufacturing, and a fire research and test laboratory.

The new facility will be Solberg’s first manufacturing plant in the United States. The company decided to establish a manufacturing plant and relocate its headquarters to the United States to launch its products in North and South America. Solberg has been headquartered in Norway since 1977.


Hyatt buys downtown Green Bay hotel

Hyatt Hotels Corp. purchased the 241-room Hotel Sierra, which is adjacent to the KI Convention Center in downtown Green Bay.

The purchase was part of an $802 million deal involving 24 hotels in several states. Hyatt plans to convert the Hotel Sierra into a full-service Hyatt hotel.

Hotel Sierra had been owned by LodgeWorks LP of Wichita, Kan., since 2007.


Poberezny steps down as chair of EAA, AirVenture

Tom Poberezny retired as chairman of Experimental Aircraft Association and AirVenture in early August as the 2011 convention wrapped up.

He had led EAA since 1989 when he took over after his father, Paul, retired from day-to-day involvement. Last year, Poberezny, who was profiled in the July 2010 issue of Insight, retired as EAA’s president and CEO. He was replaced by Rod Hightower, who became the first non-Poberezny family member to lead the 58-year-old organization. Hightower is the new chair of EAA and AirVenture.

“I am so proud of what we have been able to accomplish during my tenure,” Poberezny says. “From increased attendance at our convention to the expansion of our facilities and programs, I am pleased to have led the effort to set the stage for future growth.”


New president starts at Moraine Park Technical College

Sheila Ruhland has taken over as Moraine Park Technical College’s new president.

Ruhland previously was vice president of instruction at Rockingham Community College in Wentworth, N.C.

Moraine Park Technical College has campuses in Fond du Lac, Beaver Dam and West Bend in addition to regional centers in Hartford and Ripon.


NWTC debuts wine-related degree programs

Two new degree programs at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College are designed to meet the area’s growing demand for skilled winemakers and vineyard managers.

Beginning this fall, NWTC is offering two associate of applied science programs in winemaking (enology) and vineyard management (viticulture).

Midwestern winemakers hope the programs expand the workforce, increase the number of local grape suppliers and support existing and entrepreneurial Wisconsin wineries.

Classes are offered mainly online, making them accessible anywhere. Each program includes hands-on training and mentoring with a wine producer or grape grower who can be selected from industry specialists close to the student’s home, making the in-person education convenient for students across the state and throughout the Midwest. The program is offered in partnership with the Viticulture and Enology Science and Technology Alliance (VESTA).

“The wonderful thing is that the classes are specifically applicable to Midwest grape growing and winemaking,” says Maria Milano, owner of Parallel 44 Vineyard in Kewaunee. “That will only help support the industry and make it possible for people to get into it more easily. For us, as an existing winery, it’s beneficial because we’ll have

people coming out of the program who are well trained and employable in the industry.”




Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan counties


Lakeshore Community Foundation starts four funds

The Lakeshore Community Foundation has started up in the Manitowoc area.

The foundation has established four funds and has received its first contribution to the Lakeshore Fund. The Lakeshore Fund is the Community Foundation’s permanent, unrestricted fund which will be used to respond to community needs and provide administrative support to the foundation for future generations.

Thomas J. Bare, the retired president of Bank First National, initiated the momentum to establish the community foundation.

Lakeshore Community Foundation is surrounded by neighboring community foundations, which include Community Foundation of the Fox Valley Region, Door County Community Foundation, Fond du Lac Area Foundation, Greater Green Bay Community Foundation and Oshkosh Area Community Foundation.

For more on the foundation, visit its website at


Business, education partners launch new website

The Door Kewaunee Business & Education Partnership (DKBEP) launched its first standalone website at

The new website features expanded content and streaming media including video clips related to local manufacturing careers, photo galleries of numerous DKBEP programs including the high school home construction program and downloadable documents with information on individual programs. The design incorporates bold, lively colors and graphics in a user-friendly interface which reflects the new branding of the organization.


Lakeshore Technical College gets funds for wind turbines

Lakeshore Technical College received an award of $158,444 from Focus on Energy to help fund three wind energy turbines installed within the last year on the campus in Cleveland.

“These turbines provide a state-of-the-art learning lab for our students, which allows LTC to train highly skilled workers for the growing wind energy industry,” says LTC President Michael Lanser.

The turbines, three of four the college has installed since 2005, serve as research and training tools for students in LTC’s Wind Energy Technology Program. The four wind turbines generate up to 170,000 kilowatts of energy each year, saving about $10,500 in energy costs annually. That’s enough energy to power 17 average Wisconsin homes, according to Focus on Energy, a consortium of Wisconsin public utilities and other state energy organizations that promotes renewable energy projects.


Newton manufacturer breaks ground on major expansion

Construction has started on Stecker Machine Co. Inc.’s expansion in Newton.

A.C.E. Building Services is constructing a new 81,000-square-foot warehouse facility for the company, just north of its machine shop on County C. The new facility will allow for expansion of machining operations at the current 150,000-square-foot facility, allowing the new site to focus on shipping and storage functions. The company recently added several large customers, which increased manufacturing volume and led to the expansion.

Stecker Machine employs 215 people and focuses on high-precision CNC machining of complicated parts for equipment used in various industries including agriculture, industrial and defense.




Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake counties



Wautoma Airport nveils new terminal

The Wautoma Municipal Airport opened its new $346,000 terminal in mid-July in advance of the annual EAA AirVenture in Oshkosh.

The building’s construction was mainly funded by state and federal grants, with the city of Wautoma kicking in $50,000.

The airport is used heavily by visitors to EAA AirVenture as well as student pilots from Fox Valley Technical College who gain experience taking off and landing from the airport’s grass and asphalt runways.



Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto counties


Marinette Marine to build USS Little Rock

The USS Little Rock is the name for the ninth ship in the U.S. Navy’s littoral combat ship program. The ship, a Freedom Class littoral combat ship, will be built at Marinette Marine Corp. in Marinette.

The ship’s prime contractor, Lockheed Martin, is one of two companies building different designs of the littoral combat ship for the Navy. The USS Little Rock will be the fifth one built at Marinette Marine after the USS Freedom, USS Fort Worth, USS Milwaukee and USS Detroit.

The USS Fort Worth will begin its sea trials this fall. The ship is more than 93 percent complete, according to Lockheed Martin.

The U.S. Navy/Lockheed Martin contract, which was announced last December, calls for 10 ships to be built at a value of $3.6 billion.

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