Regional roundup

Posted on Dec 27, 2018 :: Regional Roundup
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

The Lakeshore

Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan Counties

Door County nonprofit gets $161,000 transportation grant

Door-Tran, a Door County nonprofit organization that offers transportation services to seniors and people with disabilities, received $161,000 in grant funding through the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. The grants assist local public entities and private, nonprofit agencies in rural and smaller urban areas and can be used for mobility management, operating assistance and vehicle purchases.

The organization was one of 60 agencies across the state to receive nearly $6.3 million in state and federal funds. The program will fund 80 percent of the cost for 68 vehicles to either replace existing vehicles or expand services.

The funding for Door-Tran will support vouchers for people to access services. The organization has seen demand increase by more than 68 percent in the last two years.


West Central

Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake Counties

New London woman gifts cheese company to foundation
The Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region announced news of a most unusual estate gift it received last year: a fully operational cheese factory owned by the late Marilynn Taylor of New London.

Taylor was president of Wohlt Creamery LLC of New London, a manufacturer of processed cheeses and one of the 10 largest employers in the city. She died Feb. 25, 2017, at age 71, leaving her entire business, including the building, equipment, 60 employees and a lot of cheese, in the care of her estate representative and the Community Foundation.

“It’s the first time we’ve ever been given an operating business to steward, and we knew we would need expert help to be most effective,” said Curt Detjen, president and CEO of the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region. “We immediately put a team together to do the best thing for both the employees and philanthropy in a way that Marilynn would have wanted.”

Taylor spent most of her life in Fremont, where her parents, Edwin and Sarah Wohlt, founded the cheese company in 1941. After her father’s death, a new state-of-the-art facility was built in New London in 2001 as part of a consolidation of two processing plants.

Several properties and homes Taylor had owned were also part of the estate gift, along with the contents of the houses and buildings. Herrling Clark Law Firm, which is handling the estate, estimates that the sale of the cheese processing business and manufacturing facility will net the Community Foundation approximately $5.8 million; similarly, the other assets accumulated by Taylor will net the Community Foundation approximately $2.5 million.

Last year, the foundation and estate representatives sought a buyer for the corporation. After exploring several offers, a successful suitor emerged: Ellsworth Cooperative Creamery, from Ellsworth in Pierce County. The sale was finalized in August 2018. Ellsworth Creamery retained all the employees and kept Wohlt Cheese intact.

The gift established the Marilynn W. Taylor/Wohlt Cheese Fund within the Community Foundation for the Fox Valley Region, an endowment that will award grants forever to reflect the charitable interests of Taylor. The first grants will be distributed beginning in July 2019 and will include:

• Lawrence University in Appleton, for scholarships awarded to students from Northeast Wisconsin with preference given to students from New London, Weyauwega and Fremont.

• Funding for the general benefit of the City of New London, Village of Fremont and nearby townships for the purpose of fulfilling community needs and benefiting residents.


The Northwoods

Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto Counties

Marinette, Menominee make top 10 list for TV series
Marinette and Menominee, Mich., advanced to the top 10 list of communities in consideration for TV series “Small Business Revolution.” The Hulu webcast series aims to revitalize small towns “one small business at a time.”

The team from Deluxe Corp., which is behind the series, will visit each of the top 10 communities in January to learn more about the towns and small businesses and how they would benefit from a Main Street revitalization. In this phase, communities are called to rally and get active on social media, sharing what they love about their town.

In mid-February, the top five finalists will be announced and will be up for a weeklong public vote to see which town will be featured in the show’s fourth season. The winner will be announced at the end of February, and filming for the series will take place March through June.


interstate 41 Corridor

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

Kimberly-Clark keeping Fox Crossing plant open

Kimberly-Clark Corp. is keeping its Cold Spring Plant in Fox Crossing open in exchange for $28 million in tax credits over the next five years.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. will award the full amount of credits if Kimberly-Clark retains 388 employees at the mill through 2023 and makes at least $200 million in capital reinvestment at the plant.

Kimberly-Clark announced in January 2018 that it would close the Cold Spring Plant along with its Neenah Nonwovens plant as part of its global restructuring plan. The consumer goods manufacturer still plans to close the Neenah plant, which employs 100.

Last summer, union workers at the Cold Spring Plant approved a change in their contract that would lower their wages if a deal could be made to keep the plant open.

National firm purchases Appleton-based Schenck

National firm CliftonLarsonAllen LLP, or CLA, purchased Appleton-based Schenck S.C., one of Wisconsin’s largest accounting and consulting firms.

Schenck has more than 600 employees across Wisconsin and officially joined Minneapolis-based CLA, on Jan. 1. CLA is the nation’s eighth largest certified public accounting firm. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. With the purchase, CLA projects revenue of $1 billion. Prior to the deal, Schenck generated $90 million in revenue in Wisconsin.

Once combined with Schenck, CLA will have 18 offices in the state (Schenck operates 10 of those) and employ more than 1,000 people. Schenck and CLA have three overlapping office locations in Sheboygan, Oshkosh and Milwaukee. Company officials said those could be consolidated in the future.

As part of the deal, current Schenck President Dan Young will become chief practice officer of CLA’s Wisconsin region. CLA has seven regions across the country.