UP FRONT – Regional Round Up – April

Posted on Apr 1, 2012 :: Up Front
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer


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


Health systems team up on pediatric mental health

Affinity Health System, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and ThedaCare are creating a new organization to provide outpatient pediatric mental health services. Catalpa Health is being formed to provide seamless, accessible, collaborative behavioral and mental health services.

“The current approach to providing mental health services for children and adolescents in the Fox Cities is not optimal,” says Daniel E. Neufelder, Affinity president and CEO. “Our current model is fragmented with limited access to care and not financially sustainable. It was time to think differently about our collective approach to care.”

The 2006 LIFE study showed that the community needs to focus on children’s mental health, and in response, Affinity, ThedaCare and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin began collaborating. That led to the Fox Valley Children’s Mental Health Center.

The 2011 LIFE study confirmed that a need still existed, and in February 2011, Neufelder, along with Dr. Dean Gruner, president and CEO of ThedaCare, and Peggy Troy, president and CEO of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, formed a committee to lead a strategic planning process to take the next step in addressing the community’s pediatric mental health care needs. The process led the committee to form Catalpa Health, a stand-alone entity that will provide outpatient services, including: individual and group therapy, psychological and neuropsychological testing, medical management (psychiatry) and prevention services for the local public schools.


New owners plan to revitalize Oshkosh downtown hotel

The University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Foundation and two local hoteliers are the new owners of Oshkosh’s City Center and plan to renovate the hotel by early 2013.

Richard Batley of RB Hospitality in Neenah and John Pfefferle of Pfefferle Companies Inc. in Appleton joined the foundation to purchase the property from Nashco Hospitality Group LLC, which owned it since 2009. They plan to transform the 179-room waterfront property into a full-service, state-of-the-art business hotel, anchoring the city’s downtown and serving as an economic catalyst for the entire community.

Batley and Pfefferle also own the CopperLeaf in downtown Appleton and the Bridgewood Resort Hotel in Neenah.

“This local partnership’s vision, diligence and perseverance will result in great benefit to all of Wisconsin’s Event City,” says Oshkosh Area Community Foundation President and CEO Eileen Connolly-Keesler.


UW-Fox Valley housing project will be done this summer

Smet Construction Services Corp. recently started construction on a 60-bed student housing project next to the University of Wisconsin-Fox Valley campus in Menasha.

It will be the first student housing project for the college.

The apartments will be fully furnished and include a community room, student room and have an on-site resident associate. The three-story, 20,412-square-foot building will have 17 units.

Construction on the $2 million project should be complete by early summer.


Brown County executive creates economic task force

Brown County Executive Troy Streckenbach has created a new Brown County Economic Development Task Force.

The task force will tackle four areas during the next three years:

» Development of the foreign trade zone at Austin Straubel International Airport.

» Development of a port/rail intermodal facility in Brown County.

» Development of ways to turn waste into saleable commodities.

» Reduction of phosphorus levels discharged into the Fox River and bay of Green Bay.

Streckenbach says the task force will unite key business leaders with technical experts and government representatives to retain and grow jobs in the county.

Advance, the economic development arm of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce, will facilitate committee meetings.


MetJet begins offering flights in Green Bay next month

A De Pere-based business will offer nonstop air service between Green Bay, Orlando and Minneapolis next month after years of refining the business plan and securing the capital to make the service a reality.

The first flights offered by MetJet Inc. on chartered Sun Country Airlines 737 aircraft are expected to begin May 25. Orlando service includes late-afternoon departures from Green Bay on Friday and Saturday. Return flights are morning departures Saturday and Sunday.

MetJet describes itself as a “public tour operator, which was funded by local business leaders and individuals that are dedicated to providing affordable nonstop air service between under-serviced cities (primarily Green Bay) and key markets.”

MetJet founder and CEO Michael Heisman says the business plan was reworked, examined by industry experts and refined several times since he hatched the idea in 2003. Prices for the Green Bay-to-Orlando route will be about $320 round-trip.

MetJet also is offering flights to Minneapolis on Saturdays and Sundays and from the Twin Cities Fridays and Saturdays. That service also starts May 25.



Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan counties

Door County Coffee and Tea plans expansion project

The owners of Door County Coffee and Tea are building a large warehouse addition that should be completed by this summer.

Keller Inc.-Planners, Architects, Builders is designing and building the 3,072-square-foot warehouse addition for Door County Coffee, which is located on Highway 42 in Carlsville.

Owners Vicki and Doug Wilson say they are building the addition to keep pace with growing demand. The addition will expand onsite warehousing needs to better serve the customers of Door County Coffee and Tea. The project is expected to be complete by June.


Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto counties

More boat building jobs headed to Oconto

The parent company of Cruisers Yachts and Rampage Sport Fishing Yachts acquired the assets of Azure sports fishing boats, which may bring more jobs to Oconto.

KCS International Inc., the parent company for Cruisers and Rampage, says it will move production tooling from Azure’s plant in South Carolina to Oconto, with the first Wisconsin-built boats in the Cruisers Sports Series rolling off the line in May or June.

The purchase of Azure is expected to create 185 new jobs in Oconto over two years, according to the company.


Ice-blasting company moving to Peshtigo, to bring 64 jobs

Precision Iceblast Corp. is expected to move its production and product training facility to Peshtigo from Wallace, Mich., bringing 64 jobs to

the area.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. will provide Precision Iceblast as much as $400,000 in tax credits over three years to support the relocation.

Precision Iceblast is planning to invest more than $1.45 million to construct its production and product training facility.

Precision Iceblast is an independent contracting operation that provides ice blasting services to industries such as printing, food, paper, tape, automotive, marine, restoration and manufacturing.


Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake counties

Site selected for new Shawano Medical Center

ThedaCare is moving closer to building a replacement hospital for Shawano Medical Center.

The Appleton-based organization says the new facility will be built on land adjacent to ThedaCare Physicians-Shawano, just off County Highway B.

Construction is expected to begin in summer 2013 and take about 14 months to finish. While the design and size of the new facility has yet to be decided, SMC CEO Dorothy Erdmann says it will not be larger than the current hospital, which has 25 beds.

The current hospital opened in 1931 and the building’s infrastructure needs extensive upgrades. Erdmann says the new facility will better meet patients’ needs.


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