Regional Roundup

Posted on Mar 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

A new look, expanded mission for FDL economic developers

The Fond du Lac County Economic Development Corporation unveiled a new brand during its 2016 Annual Evening event.

Steve Jenkins, president of FCEDC, revealed a new logo, tagline and website for the corporation, the results of more than 18 months of work by FCEDC as it reviewed its mission and brand in the ever-changing economic development marketplace. Old strategies and approaches will no longer work and the measures of economic success have changed, Jenkins says.

Jenkins says the brand of FCEDC is now best described by its tagline, “Innovating Prosperity,” and its new website address www.FutureFC.com. New programming will be launched in 2016, in addition to existing activities such as retaining existing business, new business attraction, entrepreneurship and business intelligence. The new programs include:

    • Business competitiveness and innovation network (Biznovate) to encourage and support world-class operations in Fond du Lac County

    • County-wide web-based interactive B2B business directory

    • Data-driven existing business program

    • Seed capital fund for startups

    • Youth entrepreneurship idea challenge

    • FCEDC innovation center offering high-speed broadband and co-working space

    • Festival of entrepreneurship, arts and creativity

“As we came out of the Great Recession, the national and global economies changed and continue to evolve,” says Ryan Kamphuis, 2015 FCEDC board chair. “The FCEDC also must change to meet the new economic environment.”

St. Norbert continues campus refresh

St. Norbert College has proposed a $26 million facelift for its 40-year-old Schuldes Sports Center, continuing a campus reshaping begun by college President Tom Kunkel.

Pending city approval and fundraising, SNC plans to begin construction this month, a project that will include adding a second story and installing a swimming pool. The updated 80,000-square-foot building at 601 Third St. would be completed by May 2017, coinciding with Kunkel’s retirement from SNC.

The project would include: demolition of the college’s human resources building, which is adjacent to the sports center at 619 Third St., new administrative offices for the college’s athletics staff and an area for support staff; and a pool added to the east side of the sports center with a floor-to-ceiling glass wall looking out to the Fox River.

Several projects have reshaped the look of the St. Norbert campus during Kunkel’s tenure, such as the Miriam B. & James J. Mulva Library, Donald J. Schneider Stadium, Michels Commons and a $39 million renovation of the Gehl-Mulva Science Center, which houses the Medical College of Wisconsin’s Green Bay campus.

» The Northwoods

Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto Counties

Marinette Marine keeps pace with launch of LCS

Fincantieri Marinette Marine launched the nation’s 11th littoral combat ship into the Menominee River at the Marinette Marine shipyard.

The future USS Sioux City will continue to undergo outfitting and testing before delivery to the Navy in early 2017.

“The christening and launch of the Sioux City is a proud event for FMM,” says Jan Allman, president and CEO of Fincantieri Marinette Marine. “It showcases the craftsmanship and engineering capabilities of our workforce. We are confident that this ship will play a vital role in the fleet, and carry the spirit of our industry team as she sails the globe.”

The Freedom-variant ships built by Marinette Marine have performed well in deployments to Southeast Asia, according to naval and company statements. Currently, the USS Fort Worth is providing the support for operations in the region. USS Freedom conducted a successful deployment to Southeast Asia in 2013 and is currently operating out of her homeport in San Diego.

The Sioux City is one of seven ships in various stages of construction at Fincantieri Marinette Marine, with two additional ships in long-lead production.

Marinette Marine is one of three shipyards in Wisconsin employing more than 2,200 shipbuilders on the state’s “marine coast.”

» West Central

Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake Counties

Waupaca chamber salutes its businesses and volunteers

Waupaca Area Chamber named Office Outfitters as its 2015 Small Business of the Year.

The award was made during the organization’s annual awards dinner in late January.

“The chamber knows that locally- owned small businesses are what make our economy work,” says Terri Schulz, chamber president. “We are happy to see Office Outfitters continue to improve and innovate on the services and merchandise they offer, keeping their business ahead of what customers are looking for.”

In the eight years since Bill and Mary Zimmerman purchased Office Outfitters, the store’s sales have grown by an average of more than 7 percent a year.

Other award winners include: Foundations for Living, Inc., 2015 Rising Star; Neumann’s Piggly Wiggly, 2015 Large Business of the Year; and Paul Shrode, 2015 Service Award.

Mayville Engineering CEO to head state board

The Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce board of directors elected Robert D. Kamphuis to serve as chairman of the 3,800-member state chamber of commerce.

Kamphuis, who is chairman, president and CEO of Mayville Engineering, will serve a two-year term as WMC’s chairman after previously serving as vice chairman. Dan Ariens, chairman and CEO of Ariens Co., concluded his two-year term as chairman of WMC with the election of Kamphuis.

“Wisconsin has made monumental progress in transforming its reputation as a good place to do business. We have to protect what we’ve accomplished over the last five years while we continue to pursue additional reforms that support private sector business investment in Wisconsin,” Kamphuis says.

Mayville Engineering was founded in 1945 and has 1,200 employees and eight Wisconsin locations in Mayville, Neillsville, Beaver Dam, Berlin and Wautoma.

» The Lakeshore

Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan Counties

Manitowoc welcomes proposed Meijer store

The Manitowoc County Expo Grounds will get a new neighbor and some needed upkeep thanks to a deal to bring the Meijer grocery store to town.

The Manitowoc County Board approved a $4.6 million offer from the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based grocery chain in January. The 27 acres the company acquired in the deal are about one-third of the county’s expo grounds and will mean the end of dirt track racing there after this season.

A portion of the sale will go toward maintenance and upgrades of the remaining expo properties.

In the past year Meijer has opened stores in Kenosha, Oak Creek, Wauwatosa and Grafton. The company also has purchased the Memorial Mall in Sheboygan and two sites in the Green Bay area. Meijer owns more than 220 stores in the upper Midwest.

Closing of the sale is scheduled for mid-September.

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