Regional roundup

Posted on Aug 1, 2017 :: Regional Roundup
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer


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

AOL founder to bring tour to Launch Wisconsin

AOL founder Steve Case’s bus tour will roll into Green Bay for Launch Wisconsin this October.

Now the chairman and CEO of Revolution LLC, a Washington D.C.-based venture capital firm, Case launched Rise of the Rest, a bus tour that travels across middle America to promote and support startups.

Rise of the Rest promotes the idea that the United States is ripe for a new era of entrepreneurship, with opportunities for high-growth companies to start and scale anywhere, not just high-profile cities on the coasts.

Each bus tour includes a visit to five cities in five days. Green Bay-area startups can apply for the pitch competition and a chance to win a $100,000 investment from Case.

The Rise of the Rest tour makes its appearance at Launch Wisconsin Tuesday, Oct. 17.

Oshkosh council approves Granary redevelopment TIF

The Oshkosh Common Council approved more than $800,000 in tax incentives for a development team looking to transform the Granary site into a restaurant and office space.

The council approved the TIF by a vote of 4-3. Developers Chet Wesenberg, Andy Dumke, Cal Schultz and Tim Hess plan to spend $1.2 million on the project in the city’s Sawdust District.

The building, dating to 1883, housed a restaurant until 2004 and has sat dormant for the past several years. Developers anticipate completing the office by August and the restaurant by September.

Marketing and digital consulting firm Blue Door Consulting announced plans to move into office space in the building this fall.

SECURA breaks ground on new Fox Crossing facility

SECURA Insurance kicked off construction of its new home office facility on property it owns along County Highway CB in the village of Fox Crossing with a groundbreaking dedication in June.

“We’re excited to have reached this milestone after planning and exploring many options,” SECURA President and CEO Dave Gross said in a press release. “During all of this, our long-term commitment to our policyholders, agents, employees and the Fox Valley community held strong. We will continue growing our operations and creating jobs in the Fox Valley area so all can maintain their trust in us.”

Sixty people representing Secura, its board of directors, Fox Crossing, Winnebago County, contractor C.D. Smith, and Eppstein Uhen Architects were on hand for the ceremony.

SECURA’s vision is to bring its people-focused culture, environmental heritage and spirit of wellness to life under one roof. The initial facility will be approximately 300,000 square feet with capacity for 900 employees. Growth potential is incorporated into the master plan of the site, as well as the modular building design. Construction will be complete in late 2019.

Agnesian HealthCare explores merger options

The Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes and SSM Health have signed a letter of intent to transfer sponsorship of Fond du Lac-based Agnesian HealthCare and the Monroe Clinic.

The parties will begin a due diligence process with the goal of integrating the hospitals and affiliate organizations within the SSM Health system. As mission-driven organizations, SSM Health and CSA share a commitment to ensuring the long-term sustainability of Catholic healthcare and providing exceptional healthcare services to meet the needs of the patients and communities they serve across Wisconsin.

The decision to pursue a transfer was initiated by CSA, who established the health ministries more than 100 years ago. Changes in the Wisconsin payer and provider markets, combined with the changing demographics of the Congregation, led CSA to consider how to best uphold the legacy of its healthcare ministries and maintain the level of care that patients and communities expect.

“We are incredibly proud of the quality and compassionate healthcare provided through our ministries. Both institutions powerfully bring our values and mission to life,” said Sister Jean Steffes, General Superior of the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes. “The time is right for us to focus on the long-term sustainability of Agnesian HealthCare and Monroe Clinic. We believe SSM Health is a strong strategic partner to both preserve and advance the organizations.”

A Catholic, not-for-profit health system, SSM Health is one of the largest integrated delivery systems in the nation. SSM Health provides care in 18 counties across south-central Wisconsin through a network of hospitals, physician offices and care centers, as well as a health plan and pharmacy benefit management company.

The process is expected to take several months. The terms of the LOI are not being disclosed.


Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto Counties

Marinette Marine receives security award

Fincantieri Marinette Marine received the 2017 Defense Security Service James S. Cogswell Outstanding Industrial Security Achievement Award.

The Cogswell award is the most esteemed honor the Defense Security Service, a federal security agency of the U.S. Department of Defense, can award to a member of industry. Less than 10 percent of more than 13,000 firms are selected to receive this award annually.

The criteria focus on the principles of industrial security excellence, which include establishing and maintaining a security program that goes beyond the minimum National Industrial Security Program requirements.

“We’re proud to be considered a leader in supporting national security. Our top priority at FMM is to deliver mission critical naval vessels while safeguarding information entrusted in our care,” said Jan Allman, president and

To be eligible, a facility must be nominated by a DSS Industrial Security Representative and have a minimum of two consecutive superior industrial security review ratings. Facilities must achieve a sustained degree of excellence and innovation in overall security program management, implementation and oversight.

Crivitz Area Fund established for grants

Community members in Crivitz and the surrounding area have a new opportunity to give back. Local community leaders have formed the Crivitz Area Council, in partnership with the M&M Area Community Foundation.

The council has established the Crivitz Area Fund to provide grants to schools, churches, nonprofits and local governmental agencies throughout the Crivitz area. Efforts are underway to grow the fund to provide grants to area organizations in March of next year.

“We are looking forward to partnering with area residents to provide money to support programs and projects which benefit all of us,” said Bob Berndt, council chair.


Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan Counties

WEDC awards Door County talent attraction grant

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. has awarded the Door County Economic Development Corp. a $50,000 matching grant for its Grow Door County initiative, a four-year plan focused on attracting and retaining employees.

Grow Door County is tackling the region’s workforce development issue on three fronts:

• Engaging with local employees to develop the resources needed to retain and recruit new employees

• Educating Door County students about post-high school options, with an emphasis on local businesses

• Working with municipalities to develop more housing options, particularly more multifamily housing

“We are extremely grateful to the WEDC for the opportunity to more effectively market Door County as a destination for full-time residents, especially in light of our current workforce crunch,” said DCEDC Executive Director Caleb Frostman. “We have a compelling quality of life package here in Door County, including five state parks, 300 miles of Great Lakes shoreline, high-quality public schools, and a diverse economy. The funds from the WEDC grant will help us communicate that story to a wider audience and increase net in-migration to our area.”

The matching grant from WEDC will help fund the development and implementation of a marketing plan aimed at attracting residents and employees to Door County. As part of the initiative, DCEDC plans to increase its presence across multiple media, including the creation of a website that would provide individuals interested in relocating to Door County with community information on topics such as employment, housing, education and health care.

DCEDC also plans to work with the Door County Community Foundation to establish and maintain a local high school alumni network that will keep the county’s graduates connected to their home community and to communicate with them about the career and entrepreneurial opportunities that exist in Door County.

Manitowoc-Two Rivers YMCA construction begins

Construction is underway for improvements to the Manitowoc-Two Rivers YMCA as part of its recent $4 million capital campaign.

Major improvements include expanding the Bank First National Lifestyle Center, renovating the original gymnasium and all locker rooms, moving conference rooms and office space, reconfiguring the wellness center, creating multipurpose spaces, a lounge area and gathering spaces throughout the facility, establishing a safer entrance from the street into the parking lot and to the lobby, updating and increasing the size of the front lobby, and updating aging mechanical systems.

Hamann Construction Co. was awarded a contract for the renovations. McMahon Associates of Neenah provided architectural services. The project is scheduled for completion in March. 


Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake Counties

Grant helps pave way for mental health clinic

The Tim and Joy Neuville Family Fund within the Waupaca Area Community Foundation has awarded its $50,000 Forward Together Grant to Catalpa Health to open a mental health clinic for young people in Waupaca.

The grant will help cover the startup and staffing costs at the new clinic, making it easier for Catalpa to help the almost 350 people who had to make a combined 2,000 trips to the Fox Cities from the Waupaca area to be served by Catalpa.

The three major health systems in the Fox Valley — Affinity Health System, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and ThedaCare — teamed up to form Catalpa Health after the 2011 Fox Cities Local Indicators for Excellence Study indicated children and teens in the area needed better access to mental health care.

Catalpa’s Waupaca clinic will start with the equivalent of four full-time therapists with expectations for growth. The location has not yet been announced. Big Brothers Big Sisters and NAMI Fox Valley are partners in the project and will share space in the clinic.

Branding expert visiting  Shawano, Menominee counties

A destination branding expert will visit Shawano and Menominee counties to evaluate the counties’ strengths and weaknesses through the eyes of a first-time visitor.

Internationally renowned community branding expert Roger Brooks will spend a week “secret shopping” Shawano area communities and tourist attractions, He will evaluate criteria such as directional signage, overall appeal, things to see and do, places to eat, customer service, nightlife, retail shops and lodging.

The results of his community assessment will be presented during two free workshops open to the public on Monday, Aug. 7 at Menominee Casino Resort Conference Center. The first workshop “The Art of Branding” will explain the process Shawano Country will undergo in branding the Shawano Country area. Brooks also will unveil an
online questionnaire.

Next, he will present the findings of his “secret shop” during “Shawano Country – Through the Eyes of Our Visitors.” Brooks will share the results and photographs of his on-site assessment. These workshops will kick off a larger branding initiative that will allow the area to discover its untapped potential as a thriving locale.

Brooks and his team plan to hold stakeholder interviews and public meetings to continue the research process necessary for developing a brand. Targeted groups will be interviewed and the public educated on the branding process. Funding for this destination branding project came from Shawano Country Vision 2017 and a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.