Regional roundup

Posted on Dec 1, 2016 :: Up Front
Sean P. Johnson
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

» INTERSTATE 41 CORRIDOR

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

Nicolet to acquire FNB-Fox Valley

Nicolet Bankshares, Inc. will acquire First Menasha Bancshares Inc. and its wholly owned banking subsidiary, First National Bank-Fox Valley, expanding Nicolet’s presence in the Fox Valley and opening new markets in Neenah, Menasha and Oshkosh.

Under the terms of the agreement, First Menasha Bancshares Inc. shareholders would receive $131.50-per-share in cash or 3.4 shares of Nicolet Bankshares Inc. stock. Based on financial results as of Sept. 30, the combined company would have pro forma total assets of $2.7 billion, deposits of $2.3 billion and loans of $1.9 billion.

“We continue to grow in the areas where we can make an impact,” says Bob Atwell, CEO and chairman of Nicolet. “We have known FNB-Fox Valley for some time and respect their commitment to community banking. We are pleased to welcome them to the Nicolet family.”

The sale is expected to be completed in late April, pending approval by First Menasha shareholders. Nicolet shareholders do not have to vote to approve the acquisition because FNB-Fox Valley is significantly smaller than Nicolet. All five of FNB-Fox Valley’s branches will be rebranded as Nicolet branches. A Nicolet branch at 2400 S. Kensington Drive, near State 441 and Calumet Street, will close.

“The combination of Nicolet and FNB-Fox Valley makes perfect sense,” says Peter Prickett, president and CEO of FNB-Fox Valley.  “We are both customer-first, service-driven cultures. It is a great fit for our customers and the community. The combined institution will be the largest community bank in each of the Green Bay and Fox Cities markets and provides the size and scale needed today to provide stability, depth of resources, and great value to our customers, communities, and shareholders.”

Botanical Gardens make major upgrades

Miron Construction Co., Inc. is partnering with Somerville, Inc. to add $3 million in new amenities to the Green Bay Botanical Garden by June 2017.

The project includes 7,000 square feet of new building structures within the Grand Garden, including a new Oval Garden pavilion and 3.8 acres of ground work. Miron will build an amphitheater, an overlook arbor pavilion and a concession stand. Ground work includes the creation of walking paths, retaining walls, detention ponds and lawn areas within the Grand Garden.

The work is being financed through the Botanical Gardens’ $5 million “Perennial Performance” campaign, which seeks to realize the vision of the garden’s founders. The Botanical Gardens opened in 1996. The amphitheater will be named after Irene Daniell Kress, a local philanthropist and garden advocate who died this past summer.

Educational experts to go ‘Around the Horn’ at New North Summit

Three regional experts on education will go “Around the Horn” at the 13th annual New North Summit, sharing forward-thinking ideas on talent.

Susan May, president of Fox Valley Technical College, Andrew Leavitt, chancellor of the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh and Greg Hartjes, principal of Appleton West High School, will participate in a discussion of talent needs within the New North region and some of the innovative steps being taken to address them.

The 2016 New North Summit is being held on Tuesday, Dec. 6 at the KI Convention Center in downtown Green Bay. 

“We believe the talent dialogue at this year’s New North Summit will be one of the program’s true highlights,” says Jerry Murphy, executive director of New North Inc.  “Susan, Andy and Greg are widely acclaimed educational experts, and I expect those at the summit to gain great insight into talent solutions they can utilize from the discussion.”

NWTC to launch culinary specialist degree             

In response to increased demand for training and assistance in the food service industry — not only in Northeast Wisconsin but across the country — Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) is set to launch the Culinary Specialist technical diploma in the spring 2017 semester.

“NWTC is really excited about starting the culinary specialist technical diploma program. The hospitality team is confident this program will expand the knowledge and future of culinary arts in Northeast Wisconsin,” says Mike Vander Heiden, NWTC associate dean of Business, Information and Technology.

The program will be located in a new, state-of-the-art classroom kitchen in the Student Center on the Green Bay campus.

Students who graduate from the 31-credit program will be prepared for employment in different areas of food production, including: sous chef, banquet chef, pastry chef, restaurant owner or manager, or personal chef.

Graduates will also be prepared for employment in the food service industry through training and practical experience in food preparation, sanitation, nutrition, marketing, dining trends, catering, management and work ethics. They will possess a working knowledge of culinary vocabulary, the ability to work as members of a team and the confidence to operate in a variety of fast-paced environments.

» THE NORTHWOODS

Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto Counties

Marinette Marine-built USS Detroit commissioned

The U.S. Navy commissioned its seventh Littoral Combat Ship — USS Detroit (LCS 7) — on the Detroit River, officially placing the ship constructed by Fincantieri Marinette Marine into active service.

USS Detroit, the fourth Freedom-variant in the LCS class, completed acceptance trials in July and was delivered to the U.S. Navy in August. It joins three other Freedom-variant ships built by Marinette Marine in the fleet: USS Freedom (LCS 1), USS Fort Worth (LCS 3) and USS Milwaukee (LCS 5).

The shipbuilding at Marinette Marine is part of a Lockheed Martin-led industry team with six ships under construction and three more in long-lead material procurement. LCS 7 is the sixth U.S. Navy ship named USS Detroit. Previous ships to bear the name included a Sacramento-class fast combat support ship, an Omaha-class light cruiser, a Montgomery-class cruiser
and two 19th century sloops of war.

Marinette Marine has seen its workforce grow to more than 2,000 shipbuilders since the LCS contract began, and another 9,000 Wisconsin and Michigan workers are part of the extended supply chain. Since 2008, Fincantieri has invested $100 million to double indoor production space and hire and train 800 new employees.

» WEST CENTRAL

Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake Counties

Casino expansion draws objections

Two Wisconsin Indian tribes have objected to the expansion of a once-limited gambling hall into a larger casino and hotel near Wittenberg.

Leaders of the Stockbridge-Munsee Community say the Ho-Chunk Wittenberg expansion could have implications for the state’s other “ancillary” casino sites — which, as detailed in the state’s tribal gambling compacts, are limited in how much space can include gambling.

The Ho-Chunk Nation broke ground in September on a $33 million expansion of the Wittenberg facility that will increase the number of slot machines from 506 to 778, add an area with high-limit gaming and 10 table games, and construct an 86-room hotel and 84-seat restaurant and bar.

The Stockbridge-Munsee and Menominee tribes asked the state Department of Administration to block the expansion, saying it violated the terms of the Ho-Chunk’s tribal compact with the state, but last month Department of Administration Secretary Scott Neitzel responded, saying the expansion complies with the compact as amended in 2003.

So far, the state has declined to stop the project, saying it complies with the 2003 amendments.

» THE LAKESHORE

Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan Counties

Manitowoc Co. wins patent case

The Manitowoc Co., Inc. has succeeded in its patent infringement and trade secrets misappropriation lawsuit against Sany Heavy Industries and Sany America.

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit issued a summary judgement affirming the United States International Trade Commission’s 2015 Final Determination and Cease and Desist Order against Sany in Certain Crawler Cranes and Components. The court specifically noted that no further opinion was necessary.

The ruling upholds all of the determinations from the ITC’s 2015 Final Determination, issued in connection with the ITC’s investigation of Sany’s conduct based upon a complaint filed by Manitowoc Cranes. The ITC determined that at least one Sany crane product infringed one of Manitowoc’s patents and that six trade secrets of Manitowoc were both protectable as trade secrets and misappropriated. ITC issued a limited exclusion order that prohibits importation into the U.S. by Sany of cranes that infringe one of Manitowoc’s patents or that use any of six of Manitowoc’s trade secrets for a period of 10 years.

In addition to the exclusion order, the ITC issued a cease and desist order that prohibits Sany America from importing, selling, marketing, advertising or distributing cranes that were manufactured using any of the six Manitowoc trade secrets found to be misappropriated.