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Business development  

First Business Financial Services, parent company of First Business Bank, announced that all First Business entities have aligned as First Business Bank. This alignment is accompanied by a refreshed logo and a new “.BANK” website and email addresses.

J. J. Keller & Associates acquired the assets of VideoProtects Inc., a three-person firm that provides cloud-based video technology services through Geotab Inc.’s telematics. VideoProtects’ CEO Michael Nalepka, co-founder and President John Moscatelli, and Chief Technology and Chief Product Officer Gene Emory all joined J. J. Keller.

McMahon Associates has fully integrated the municipal safety, administrative and consulting services of the company formerly known as RW Management Group into its McMahon full-service offerings. The division will now be called McMahon Public Safety and Municipal Management.

Westwood Professional Services OMNNI Associates was acquired by Westwood in June 2019 and has since been operating as OMNNI Associates, a Westwood company. OMNNI has now transitioned completely to the Westwood brand. Led by Phil Ramlet, the team will continue to serve clients in Appleton.

EnTech Solutions, an affiliate of Faith Technologies, and Northern Biogas LLC formed a joint venture committed to providing a sustainable energy future using local agriculture. EnTech Solutions is adding to its clean energy solutions portfolio with the acquisition of an active biogas facility in the Town of Springfield in Dane County. Using anaerobic digestion, the facility will turn organic waste from local dairy farms into renewable energy.

Fincantieri Marinette Marine is partnering with GE Marine to provide gas turbine engines and associated equipment on the Navy’s Constellation-class frigates being designed and built in Wisconsin.

Interlake Holding Co. purchased the SS Badger, a coal-fired ferry that carries people across Lake Michigan between Manitowoc and Ludington, Mich.

Hawkins Ash CPAs acquired Green Bay accounting firm Hermans & Associates. Kathleen M. Hermans and the seven staff members of Hermans & Associates joined the Green Bay office of Hawkins Ash CPAs.

Mercury Marine will install an array of photovoltaic solar panels at its world headquarters campus in Fond du Lac. More than 300 panels will be installed on the company’s warehouse roof, and they will generate enough electricity to light the company’s warehouse operation for the next 30 years.

Guaranty Title Services, Inc. of Fond du Lac acquired Closing and Title Services, LLC. Together, the companies have eight locations in the region.

The Menominee Nation Arena announced a multiyear sponsorship deal with Keurig Dr Pepper. The partnership gives Dr Pepper the title sponsorship for any major concert or show in 2021 and visible Gate A branding in the arena.

Weidert Group is working with Rittal North America to help it launch its flexible and scalable network/server rack enclosure, the TS IT Pro. Weidert also is working on a website redesign and inbound marketing campaign for Strouse, a Maryland-based adhesive solutions provider.

Cornerstone International Alliance added Keystone Business Advisors of southern California to its team of M&A firms and advisers.

Bemis Manufacturing Co. acquired Bio Bidet of Crystal Lake, Ill., a bidet company that offers bidet and smart toilet seats and bidet attachments. Bio Bidet has spent more than a decade exploring environmental, hygienic and practical benefits bidet toilet seats provide to U.S. households.

AMMO Inc., an Arizona-based ammunition and munition components manufacturer, completed its $27 million acquisition of Jagemann Stamping Co.’s brass casing division. AMMO plans to build a 170,000 square foot facility in Manitowoc’s industrial park on a vacant piece of land west of Interstate 43. The company will make bullets for the general public and military at the new facility, and it expects to bring 200 jobs to the city.

Business comings and goings  

Bay Bank opened its new branch office in Keshena as part of the mixed-use Standing Pines Convenience Store project.

Prevea opened a COVID Recovery Clinic for individuals who continue to experience ongoing symptoms 14 days or longer after they initially tested positive for COVID-19. Often called post-acute COVID-19 syndrome, symptoms may include shortness of breath, cough, fatigue, body aches, joint pain, difficulty sleeping, headaches, brain fog, gastrointestinal issues and dizziness.

ThedaCare Urgent Care-Neenah opened on the ThedaCare Physicians campus on Green Bay Road in Neenah. 

Holy Family Memorial Women’s Health opened a second location at Lakefront Campus in Two Rivers.

Stein’s Garden & Home announced plans to open a store in Kimberly.

Little Harbor Inn in Sturgeon Bay was sold to Little Harbor Retreat LLC.

The Doggie Paddle by Curve Crest Kennels, an indoor heated pool for dogs, opened in Oshkosh.

Hit Machine Baseball and live music venue Sol & NOVA opened in Sheboygan.

Family Video announced it will close all its remaining stores.

Vida Medical Clinic and Support Services purchased a new building on Association Drive in Appleton and will move to the expanded campus in late spring 2021. 

Construction news

Construction is underway on the Village Meadows Subdivision south of the Hilbert High School stadium. Four lots have been sold since the subdivision went on the market last spring.

Construction is complete on the Berkshire Sheboygan Falls Senior Apartments, located in the former Sheboygan Falls Middle School building. 

The City of Sheboygan’s Plan Commission approved a conditional use permit for Kohler Co. to move forward with development of its new golf course along Lake Michigan, but before the permit can take effect, all pending lawsuits affecting the construction of the course must be closed in Kohler’s favor.

Keller Inc. is completing projects for the following organizations: Song Industries, De Pere; Rawhide Youth Services, Fond du Lac; Stein’s Garden & Home, Kimberly; BASF Corp., Appleton; and Chippewa Falls Harley Davidson.

Bayland Buildings broke ground on an expansion to The Bar on Holmgren Way in Green Bay.

Sheboygan Area Lutheran High School opened its new fine arts center. The building includes a 600-seat theater with stage, music instruction rooms, a conference/exhibit room and a robotics lab. Abacus Architects designed the space.

Sheboygan Christian School is working on an expansion that will nearly double its space and enrollment capacity. The project will add 40,000 square feet of learning space, including additional gymnasium space and a stage for theater productions.

JSD Professional Services partnered with Ganther Construction and the Village of Fox Crossing’s Care Partners to provide surveying, engineering and landscape architect services for Care Partners’ newest assisted living facility in Fox Crossing.

Education

UW-Green Bay announced that the Green Bay Packers are honoring Packers Pro Football Hall of Famer Willie Davis with a $250,000 impact grant toward the establishment of the Willie Davis Financial Trading and Investment Laboratory within the university’s Cofrin School of Business. In addition, UW-Green Bay announced Mishicot High School has partnered with the university’s Rising Phoenix Early College High School Program.

UW-Oshkosh is planning a yearlong sesquicentennial celebration to mark its 150th anniversary, with many events slated to take place this fall.

Awards/recognitions/milestones

Acuity added its highest volume of new business in the insurer’s 95-year history in 2020, propelling a surge in top-line revenue of over $120 million. The company also was named to Glassdoor’s list of 2021 Best Places to Work.

Bergstrom Automotive was named to Glassdoor’s list of 2021 Best Places to Work.

Newsweek named Oshkosh Corp. to its list of America’s Most Responsible Employers 2021.

Writing by Design won three gold awards in the 2020 MARCOM Awards, an international creative competition for marketing and communication professionals, for work it completed for clients in 2020.

Food Logistics, a publication dedicated to covering the movement of product through the global food supply chain, named Breakthrough in Green Bay to its 2020 FL100+ Top Software and Technology Providers list, which honors software and technology providers that help create a reliable food and beverage supply chain.

New North startups were among those named to the Wisconsin Startup Coalition’s list of Startups to Watch in 2021: ChemDirect, Fork Farms and Quantum Radius, Green Bay; Debtle, Kohler; Proceed.app and Punch, Appleton; and VibeTech, Sheboygan.

The Wisconsin Division of the Transportation Security Administration announced the 2020 recipients of its annual awards event, with Green Bay Austin Straubel International Airport personnel and TSA staff among those receiving recognition.

Chief Marketer named Vye a top 200 agency as part of the 2021 Chief Marketer 200 list.

Current Young Professionals of the Greater Green Bay Chamber announced finalists for the 2021 Next Generation Best Place to Work Award presented by Pai Retirement: American Tent, KerberRose and UnitedHealthcare.

Charitable giving and grants

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. allocated $100,000 for New North, Inc. as part of the $1,675,000 awarded to its key strategic partners, including the states nine regional economic development groups and three diverse chambers of commerce.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. reached the milestone of aiding almost 55,000 state small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses received approximately $240 million last year through the We’re All In grants program, the largest direct-aid program for small businesses in WEDC history.

Wisconsin was awarded a Preschool Development Grant Birth through Five Renewal, totaling $30 million over the next three years. The state previously received a $10 million PDG B-5 Planning Grant. That one-year funding helped the department gather information about Wisconsin’s early care and education system, create best practices and develop a strategic plan. 

Manitowoc and Sturgeon Bay were among the recipients of $6 million in Wisconsin Department of Transportation Harbor Assistance Program grants: The City of ManitowocCity Centre, LLC, $1,250,000; Port of Manitowoc – Badger Car Ferry, $720,000; and City of Sturgeon Bay – Sarter Marine Towing, $249,920.

WHEDA awarded more than $1 million in grant funds for emergency and extremely low-income housing. Organizations in the New North receiving funds include: Domestic Abuse Support Center and Shawano Area Matthew 25, Shawano; Christine Ann DomesticAbuse Services, Oshkosh; Golden House and NeighborWorks, Green Bay; Salvation Army Fox Cities, Appleton; and New Hope Center, Chilton.

Organizations and agencies in the New North were among those to receive grants as part of $3.8 million in funds to support specialized transit needs, administered by the Wisconsin Department of Transportation: Calumet County, Waupaca County, Door-Tran of Door County, Lutheran Social Services of Wisconsin & Upper Michigan, New Hope Center of Calumet and Manitowoc counties, and NEWCAP of Oconto and Marinette counties.

The Wisconsin Department of Veteran Affairs awarded $620,940 in grants to 16 registered nonprofit organizations that provide financial assistance, entrepreneurship training or other services to Wisconsin veterans and their families. Those in the New North receiving funds included: Fox Valley Technical College, $99,940 for its Innovation Accelerator for Veterans program; COTS Inc., $25,000 for veterans experiencing homelessness; Fox Valley Veterans Council, $25,000 to provide basic needs and to continue two vocational programs with Fox Valley Tech; New Community Shelter Inc., $5,000 to support veteran programming; and Greater Green Bay Chamber of Commerce Foundation, $75,000 to support a new connecting point for veterans. 

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. provided grant funding to help launch Guiding

Rural Innovation and Development, a resource for Northwoods business owners and startups.

The Fox Cities Convention & Visitors Bureau awarded a $40,000 grant to Heckrodt Wetland Reserve in Menasha for the completion of its Children’s Canopy Walk.

The Festival Foods Turkey Trot has raised $3.28 million for charity since it began in 2008, with $360,000 coming with the 2020 Home Edition, when nearly 20,000 people participated statewide.

Acuity employees determined the distribution of $500,000 among six organizations: Conquer Cancer Foundation, Fresh Meals on Wheels, Mental Health America, Safe Harbor, Salvation Army and the Sharon S. Richardson Community Hospice.

Jewelers Mutual Group donated $500,000 as part of its 2020 charitable campaign, Band Together. Organizations receiving donations included Feeding America, Kids In Need Foundation

and Stand Up To Cancer. The amounts donated were based on votes by the company’s personal jewelry policyholders.  

The Little Rapids Corp. — Egan Family Foundation donated $210,000 during the holidays to more than 30 local nonprofit organizations. The foundation gave more than $310,000 in 2020.

Throughout 2020, The Stephenson National Bank & Trust made donations totaling over $180,000 to nonprofits in Marinette, Menominee and Oconto counties.

Schneider donated a refrigerated trailer to Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin. The 53-foot trailer will be used to transport fresh produce and other perishables.

The ThedaCare Family of Foundations donated a 15-passenger bus to The Heritage, a ThedaCare senior living residence and assisted living facility.

The Milwaukee Bucks and Sargento Foods have teamed up for the second straight season to support Habitat for Humanity in Milwaukee with the Tipoff for Homes initiative. For every tip off the Bucks win during the 2020-21 regular season, Sargento will donate $500 to Habitat for Humanity in Milwaukee. In addition, the Green Bay Packers and Sargento Foods’ annual Touchdowns for Hunger program surpassed the $100,000 milestone for the first time in one season during its 18-year history.

CLA team members in Green Bay collected $10,500 as part of a November fundraising campaign. Donations were directed to 28 local nonprofits.

North Shore Bank announced that Green Bay-area nonprofit NeighborWorks was selected as the beneficiary of the community bank’s Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago Targeted Impact Fund and received a $5,000 grant.

All the rest

Schneider has implemented a pay increase, with many Schneider driver associates earning up to an additional 4 cents per mile.

The Brown County Library debuted a new logo and a more inclusive and innovative mission, vision and values for the countywide library system. Library officials plan to continue to advance the library’s services and outreach and further explore enhancements of its environments, technology and programs.

The Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce is accepting online nominations through Feb. 26 for the 2021 Excellence in Education Shining Star Awards, which will be presented in a virtual format April 29. The nomination form is available at tinyurl.com/foxcitiesed.

The Greater Green Bay Chamber changed its former Fact Book publication to a Greater Green Bay Community Snapshot. The new online-only, interactive publication is a recruitment tool showcasing features and benefits of living and working in greater Green Bay.

Jones Sign Co. installed a four-sided building sign for the new Climate Pledge Arena in Seattle. 

Clean Wisconsin, the Dairy Business Association, the Nature Conservancy in Wisconsin and the Wisconsin Land and Water Conservation Association are coming together to advocate for meaningful state-level policy changes that support clean water and resilient farms.

The YWCA Green Bay launched a YWomen Read Book Club aimed at helping the community broaden its understanding of social justice topics in line with the YWCA’s mission to “eliminate racism, empower women, and promote peace, justice, freedom, and dignity for all.”

Kohler Generators partnered with Roush Fenway Racing in North Carolina as an anchor partner, making its debut on the No. 6 Ford with driver Ryan Newman on Feb. 14.

Road America announced that Henry Repeating Arms has renewed its title sponsorship for 2021, serving as sponsor for the NASCAR Xfinity Series 180 race.

WPS and the Volunteer Center of Brown County are accepting nominations for their annual volunteer awards through Feb. 21. To nominate, visit volunteergb.org/general/2021-wps-volunteer-awards-nomination.

Door County Land Trust announced the protection of two additional forested properties within the Gibraltar-Ephraim Swamp State Natural Area. With these additions totaling 75 acres, Door County Land Trust now protects 383 acres within the swamp, which is a coastal wetland landscape that plays an important role for water quality and fish populations in Door County.

Area health care organizations have begun setting up plans and sites for COVID-19 vaccinations. Prevea Health is partnering with UW-Green Bay to launch two community COVID-19 vaccine clinics — one at the Kress Events Center on the UW-Green Bay campus in Green Bay and another in the gymnasium of the UW-Green Bay, Sheboygan Campus in Sheboygan. Bellin Health opened its vaccination site at the Bellin Health Ashwaubenon clinic, 1630 Commanche Ave. In administering vaccines, both organizations are following vaccine prioritization guidelines established by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Wisconsin Department of Health Services.

Young people ages 18 and under will be admitted free to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2021 as a way to introduce more youth to the possibilities in the world of flight. The 68th Experimental Aircraft Association fly-in convention will be held July 26 – Aug. 1 at Wittman Regional Airport. This effort is designed to encourage more aviation-minded families and their children to attend the event that brings more than 10,000 aircraft from around the world to Oshkosh each year.