UP FRONT: Regional roundup – October 2013

Posted on Oct 1, 2013 :: Up Front
Posted by , Insight on Business Staff Writer

» Highway 41 Corridor

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

Fox Cities companies building “Well City”

The annual Fox Cities Well Workplace awards ceremony will take place at Lawrence University on Tuesday, Oct. 29 from 4:30 to 8 p.m. at the Warch Campus Center. An announcement will be made about the Fox Cities “Well City USA,” which means 20 percent of a community’s working population is employed by 20 Well Workplace award-winning organizations.

Lawrence University was one of several Fox Cities organizations and companies awarded a Gold Well Workplace award from the Wellness Council of America (WELCOA) and the Wellness Council of Wisconsin for its commitment to health and well-being.


Petersen Dairy Farm shares sustainable ideas

The Petersen Dairy Farm in Appleton was featured in a video about sustainable farming produced by the World Wildlife Fund and the Innovation Center for U.S. Dairy.

“When I think of sustainable, I think of a chair that’s got three legs on it, you know? One leg that’s financial, one that’s environmental, and one leg would be community,” says Mark Petersen in the video. Petersen oversees the dairy with his father and brother.

Some of the Petersens’ sustainable practices include composting and zone tilling. The Petersens also connected with the University of Wisconsin-Extension to minimize groundwater impacts.

“Cows, dairy farms and the urban environment can be good neighbors. It just boils down to good management,” says Kevin Erb, conservation specialist.

Visit WorldWildlife.org and search “Mark Petersen” to watch the video.


Humana is largest Brown County employer

As of July 2013, Humana employed 3,170 people, making it the largest private employer in Brown County for the fifth year in a row, according to a study by Advance, the economic development branch of the Green Bay Area Chamber of Commerce. The agency annually updates its list of the 30 largest employers in the Green Bay area.

The top five businesses and number of employees are:

1. Humana: 3,170

2. Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin: 2,747

3. Schneider National: 2,733

4. Bellin Health: 2,518

5. Georgia-Pacific Corporation: 2,300

The Green Bay Packers, Inc. ranked number 30 this year with 365 employees.


The new Health Simulation and Technology Center at FVTC, built as a result of the April 2012 public referendum, houses 14 virtual patients. Photo courtesy of FVTC

FVTC unveils health simulation center

The new three-story Health Simulation and Technology Center (HSTC) at Fox Valley Technical College was unveiled Sept. 4. The $12 million, 66,000-square-foot building is Wisconsin’s only multi-disciplinary health care training center, integrating training for emergency medical responders, nurses, medical assistants, law enforcement and occupational therapists.

The HSTC includes a virtual hospital with an eight-bed emergency response room, debriefing rooms, ambulance simulator, inpatient rooms with one-way mirrors, and an occupational therapy lab.

The $66.5 million public referendum project approved in April 2012 included other campus expansions and renovations, including a $34 million Public Safety Training Center located at the Outagamie County Regional Airport.


71 sought federal assistance from SBA

After the Aug. 7 storms that brought at least five tornadoes across Northeast Wisconsin, 71 individuals, business owners and private non-profits sought assistance or advice from the Small Business Administration at the agency’s in-county office, said Outagamie County Executive Tom Nelson.

Outagamie County is applying for aid through the SBA Disaster Loan Assistance Program.

“From day one, getting Outagamie County residents back on their feet has been our top priority,” Nelson says. “In doing so, we have aggressively sought out assistance from any and all sources at the state and federal level.”

Residents impacted by the storm may apply for assistance online until Oct. 21 at www.sba.gov.


» The Northwoods

Florence, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto Counties

The restored Judge House is a part of the Chamfered Centre, a collection of historic properties in Florence that now house commercial properties. Courtesy of Florence County Economic Development

Three Florence buildings now historical properties

The restored Judge House is a part of the Chamfered Centre, a collection of historic properties in Florence that now house commercial properties.

The Wisconsin National State Register of Historical Places designated three Florence County buildings as historical properties. The three buildings include Maxsells Restaurant & Suites, The Judge House and the Encore on Central. The owners, Rachel and Don Egelseer, launched the Chamfered Centre LLC, which is a collection of historic properties in Florence that includes entertainment, office/retail space, cultural vintage offerings and landmark buildings.

Economic Development Director Wendy Gehlhoff says, “We are fortunate to have a community member like Rachel who has purchased a number of historic buildings on Main Street and restored them with great care to their original stature. Rachel uses these properties to help incubate entrepreneurs to help grow more retail and service trade in our community.”

Florence officials are seeking new retail entrepreneurs, Gehlhoff says.


» The Lakeshore

Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Sheboygan Counties

Luxemburg students to build home for credit

High school students from the Kewaunee, Luxemburg-Casco and Sturgeon Bay school districts joined forces with the Door County Home Builders Association, Northeast Wisconsin Technical College (NWTC) and the Door/Kewaunee Business and Education Partnership (DKBEP) to build a 2,300-square-foot residential home for homeowners Brian and Cindy Peot.

Participating students will work every day during the school year with direction from NWTC instructor Jeff Schlag and Van’s Lumber Project Advisor Chris VandenHouten. Each student will earn 16 credits for advanced placement in the one-year Wood Tech program at NWTC upon completion of the project.

“For the past six years, the program has experienced great success. Over 70 students have had the unique opportunity to build five homes and a mancave, respectively,” says Tara LeClair, DKBEP program manager. “There is an 80 percent success rate with students moving on to local employment in the trades and/or are continuing their education after graduation.”

The project is expected to be completed May 2014.


» West Central

Shawano, Waupaca, Waushara, Marquette, Green Lake Counties

Chamber receives state funds for Chain O’ Lakes Festival

The Waupaca Area Chamber of Commerce received a $5,280 Joint Effort Marketing (JEM) grant for the second annual Waupaca Chain O’ Lakes Blues Festival on Oct. 4 and 5 at the Indian Crossing Casino.

The grant funds are used for print and targeted online advertising for Central Wisconsin, from Milwaukee and Madison to Eau Claire, says Danielle Johnson of the Wisconsin Department of Tourism.

The chamber estimates that the festival has an economic impact of $69,600 from traveler spending at area hotels, restaurants and stores. Last year’s event drew more than 600 people, with 76 percent coming from outside the Waupaca area. This year’s festival looks to draw more than 800 attendees.


Send business news updates and photos to [email protected]