Regional roundup

Posted on May 30, 2019 :: Regional Roundup
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

interstate 41 Corridor

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

Mulvas donate several million to two major De Pere projects

With a vision of showcasing world-class arts and culture in their hometown to inspire community pride and attract visitors and talent alike, De Pere natives Jim and Miriam Mulva announced progress in the creation of a cultural center in De Pere’s downtown.

The public got a preview of the proposed $50 million, three-story, 60,000-square-foot Mulva Cultural Center project. The glass building on the east side of the Fox River will feature exhibit and performance spaces, including an auditorium, an open-air atrium spanning all three stories, classrooms, an outdoor terrace and a veterans memorial.

The De Pere Cultural Foundation and Mulva Cultural Center board of directors hired architectural and urban planning firm Skidmore, Owings & Merrill LLP to design the Mulva Cultural Center. Drawings are available for public viewing on the new Mulva Cultural Center website,

This new home for the creative arts will host traveling exhibitions from leading institutions worldwide, diverse cultural programming and educational opportunities for people of all ages.

In addition, the Mulvas donated $27 million to cover the costs of building a new three-story Notre Dame School of De Pere that would serve all its students from early childhood through eighth grade, as well as construction of a new parish center for St. Francis Xavier.

The Mulvas both grew up in De Pere. Jim Mulva is the retired chairman and CEO of Phillips Petroleum Co., which later became ConocoPhillips. Miriam Mulva serves on St. Norbert College’s board of trustees. The pair jointly manage the activities of the Mulva Family Foundation.

Two national investors join TitletownTech venture fund

The Green Bay Packers and Titletown Development made announcements about the future of TitletownTech.

The venture fund at TitletownTech added two national investors, the center identified its entrepreneur-in-residence, and Delaware North announced plans to open a new entertainment and restaurant facility.

Jerry Jacobs Jr., Delaware North co-CEO and an alternate governor for the Boston Bruins, and Jeff Wilpon, partner of Sterling Project Development, Sterling Equities and chief operating officer of the New York Mets, became two new out-of-state investors in the TitletownTech Venture Fund.

The Packers and Microsoft launched the fund in 2017, contributing $5 million each. Ed Policy, chief operating officer and general counsel for the Packers, said the fund’s total is approaching $25 million. Two new TitletownTech programs — an innovation lab and a venture studio — also will open in June.

Both Jacobs and Wilpon have ties to the Packers and Titletown Development. Jacobs’ Delaware North is the exclusive beverage and food provider at Lambeau Field, while Wilpon’s Sterling Project Development has worked on the Titletown development.

Delaware North will open an 11,000-square-foot interactive entertainment venue and restaurant on the first floor of the TitletownTech building. The yet-to-be-named eatery, which is expected to open in August, will feature Topgolf Suites and other high-tech simulation bays.

Aaron Kennedy, the founder of Noodles & Co., will serve as the center’s University of Wisconsin-Green Bay Entrepreneur in Residence. He will work to advance early-stage ventures and entrepreneurial opportunities in the region and connect the UW System to TitletownTech.

Cordero Barkley, who earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees from UW-Green Bay, is also joining the TitletownTech management team as director of finance and investments. He worked in banking and wealth management at Associated Bank and Wells Fargo before joining TitletownTech.

The two-story, 46,000-square-foot TitletownTech building will have offices and space for TitletownTech operations and Titletown Development, the real estate development arm of the Packers.

West Central

Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake Counties

First State Bank expands reach with Pioneer Bank purchase

First State Bank entered into a definitive purchase agreement with Pioneer Bank, which has seven offices in north central Wisconsin.

Pending regulatory approval and Pioneer Bancorp Inc. shareholder approval, the purchase is expected to close early this fall. First State Bancshares Inc. will acquire 100 percent of the outstanding common stock of Pioneer Bancorp Inc. Pioneer Bank’s seven offices will subsequently merge with First State Bank in early 2020 and operate under the First State Bank name.

Pioneer Bank has a main office in Auburndale and other offices in Greenwood, Marshfield, Rozellville, Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids and Withee.

When the merger is complete, Jeff Whitrock, president and CEO of Pioneer Bank, will join First State Bank as senior vice president/chief market development and sales officer. Jim Nowak, Pioneer Bank’s chief financial officer, will join First State Bank as senior vice president and chief operationing officer. Robert Van Asten will continue to lead First State Bank as president and CEO.

With total assets of $300 million, First State Bank has offices in New London, Clintonville, Manawa, Waupaca, Cecil and Rudolph. Pioneer Bank’s total assets are $160 million.

The Northwoods

Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto Counties

City of Marinette, taxpayers reap rewards from energy efficiency

The City of Marinette received a $94,998 check from Focus on Energy, Wisconsin’s statewide energy efficiency program.

The money is a financial incentive for the city’s decision to have several energy-efficient measures built into its new Community REC Center, which opened earlier this year. The city worked with Focus on Energy’s Design Assistance team to implement practices and install equipment that will reduce energy waste and save the City of Marinette and taxpayers money for years to come.

“The Focus on Energy team worked hand-in-hand with our architect, Somerville, to design a building that is energy efficient and incorporates some of the newest technologies to save energy costs,” Marinette Mayor Steve Genisot said.

The new Community REC Center was built with energy-efficient walls, roof and windows. It also includes LED bulbs and fixtures, occupancy sensors and energy-efficient heating and cooling equipment.

The financial incentive from Focus on Energy helps offset the initial cost of choosing more efficient, more expensive equipment. In addition, the city’s energy conservation choices will result in annual energy cost savings of $118,835 over baseline equipment, meaning the investment the city made in energy efficiency will pay for itself in just over five years.

The Lakeshore

Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan Counties

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding to build new Washington Island ferry

Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding and Washington Island Ferry Line have signed an agreement to construct a new year-round passenger/vehicle ferry for service across Wisconsin’s Death’s Door Passage.

The new ferry will be named Madonna. It will have capacity for as many as 28 vehicles and 150 passengers. The vessel will be the largest in the Washington Island Ferry Line fleet to-date. It is scheduled for delivery in late May 2020.

“This contract will add to the steady work relied upon by the hundreds of women and men we employ from across the region,” said Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding’s Vice President and General Manager Todd Thayse.

Like the icebreaker Arni J. Richter, launched by Fincantieri Bay Shipbuilding in 2003, this newest ferry design will incorporate ice capabilities in addition to adding significant vehicle capacity throughout the year. Twin CAT-C32 main engines will provide 1600 maximum horsepower, while its stainless propellers and shafts as well as stout framing make it ice-capable.

Outdoor, upper deck seating and an indoor, climate-controlled cabin will be available to passengers, along with restrooms on two decks. Bow and stern ramps with wide gates will allow easy vehicle loading. It will have an overhead of 15 feet, enough to transport high-clearance specialty equipment as needed.