Focus on Calumet
A bi-weekly update on economic development opportunities in Calumet County
and the region for businesses, entrepreneurs, and communities.

Sunday, September 1, 2019
Each year, Labor Day gives us an opportunity to recognize the invaluable contributions that working men and women make to our nation, our economy, and our collective prosperity. It gives us a chance to show gratitude for workers' grit, dedication, ingenuity, and strength, which define our nation's character. ... Tom Perez
New Business Assistance Services for Calumet County Start-ups and Existing Companies
Through Calumet County’s partnership with the UW Green Bay Small Business Development Center, we’re very excited to announce that start-up and existing companies in the county now have access to expertise provided by Entrepreneurship Specialist Ray York.  

Ray, native to Eau Claire County, joined the Sheboygan County Economic Development Corporation as an Entrepreneurship Specialist in 2018. His position is part of a collaboration with the Small Business Development Center at UW-Green Bay, where he works in coordination with the SBDC as a business counselor. 

As of September 3, Ray is also available to support existing and start-up businesses throughout Calumet County. Due to renovation taking place at the Calumet County Courthouse through approximately May 2020, Ray will temporarily meet with businesses at their locations or at a mutually convenient public space such as a coffee shop. Ray’s primary day to focus on Calumet County will be the third Tuesday of the month, but he’s willing to accommodate business schedules as needed.

In addition to his positions at the SCEDC and SBDC, Ray is a small business owner, serving as President of York Estates, Inc., which has owned The Rochester Inn in Sheboygan Falls since 2016.

Ray serves on the board of directors for the Sheboygan Falls Chamber Main Street, participating on the Economic Development Committee, and working as the Tourism Liaison for the Tourism Committee. Ray is also a SCORE volunteer and mentor.
To schedule a time to meet with Ray, email him at york@sheboygancountyedc.com o r call 920-946-9379.
NEWREP Tours TitletownTech
The Northeast Wisconsin Regional Economic Partnership, NEWEP, is a multi-county economic development collaborative representing most of the counties and larger cities, along with other economic development support agencies such as New North and WEDC, within greater northeast Wisconsin. NEWREP has been in existence for nearly 20 years, meeting approximately six times a year to share professional development learning experiences and discuss best practices in advancing the region. 

On a recent Friday in August, NEWREP partners toured TitletownTech , located adjacent to Lambeau Field. Formed out of a partnership between the Green Bay Packers and Microsoft, TitletownTech builds, enables, and invests in early-stage and existing businesses. They identify solutions, develop startups, and fund entrepreneurs across five key vertical areas:
  • Sports, media, and entertainment;
  • Digital health;
  • Agriculture, water, and environment;
  • Advanced manufacturing; and
  • Supply chain technology.

Through their three-part structure, TitletownTech enables innovation with an Innovation Lab, a Venture Studio, and a Venture Fund. It was enlightening and interesting to learn more about this resource located so close to Calumet County. Interested entrepreneurs can learn more here.
NEWREP members posed for a photo at the entrance of TitletownTech. Mary Kohrell, Calumet County, is shown near the middle of the front row.  
Local Business Updates
Ariens Investing $30M in Plant Improvements
Ariens Co. is halfway through a $30 million transformation of its Plant 1 that will allow the Brillion company to meet growing demands for its zero-turn mowers.

Ariens’ five-year trend of double-digit growth is spurring the project, which should be complete next summer.

“This 18-month initiative will allow Ariens Co. to increase capacity of that plant by more than 50 percent using the same square footage,” says Larry Weyers, chief operating officer and president of Ariens Power Equipment, adding the company is looking to hire another 150 workers for various manufacturing positions to meet Ariens’ continued growth.

The transformation project touches all areas of the 320,000-square-foot plant and includes a new $19 million paint system, lasers, robotic welders, steel delivery bay and shipping docks. It also focuses on workplace enhancements in ergonomics, safety, air quality, automation to assist with heavy tasks and automated guided vehicles to move products.
Hilbert’s Smoky Lake Maple Products Tap Into Innovation
Written by Megan Roehl, Calumet County Economic Development Summer Intern
Smoky Lake Maple Products was started by Jim and Angela Schumacher as they began making maple syrup at their cabin on Smoky Lake in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. They then started creating maple syrup equipment in their garage, leading to the creation of more equipment, slowly tapping into their friends as employees and eventually moving into a larger facility in Hilbert, WI. They have since created products that innovate and serve all aspects of the syrup production process. Their products are of high quality and are reported to be the most efficient in the industry. Additionally, they have created products such as the Murphy Cup which they patented as an efficient and easier way to test the density of maple syrup. If imitation is a form of flattery, their designs have even been imitated by large manufacturers in Canada.
 
Smoky Lake’s high-quality products serve customers all over the world in a variety of industries. They focus on working directly with each of their customers, serving over 2,000 clients last year. Their reach has been on the international scale, selling maple syrup equipment to both Russia and Latvia. Their equipment has also been utilized to process sea salt, birch syrup, and sorghum syrup.
 
Over time, Smoky Lake’s business has grown from a garage operation to currently employing twelve team members between their office and craftsmen. The team comes together to pitch in and focus on positively impacting the community. Every year the team assists at the Brillion Nature Center cleaning up the trails, as well as contributing marketing and design for Appleton’s Homeless Connections Benefit Gala.
 
The Schumacher’s have enjoyed seeing how a business from the Midwest has been able to impact and innovate within the maple syrup equipment industry. They look forward to expanding their product line and tapping into new markets and industries to sell their products. Click here to learn more about Smoky Lake Maple Products of Hilbert. 
Photo provided by Smoky Lake Maple.
Collins State Bank Celebrating 105 Years
By David Norby, The Brillion News, August 15, 2019
A party to celebrate Collins State Bank’s 105-year history will happen at the Brillion location next Friday.

Throughout the month of August, Collins State Bank is hosting celebrations at each of their locations in the area – Collins, Kiel, Random Lake, and Brillion. Brillion’s is August 23 from 11 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Amber Butturini, who manages the Brillion location, says that the nearly three years in Brillion have been a success.

“It’s been good. Fortunately we had some of those people from Collins come over and new people. I think it’s convenient for people, even from Reedsville, Hilbert area,” Butturini said.
Photo Credit: Dave Norby, The Brillion News
Photo Credit: Collins State Bank Facebook Page
Upcoming Events
Business Counseling
September 17 (or when mutually convenient): Small Business Development Center business counseling services offered by Ray York, Sheboygan County EDC and Small Business Development Center Entrepreneurship Specialist. Available to all existing businesses and entrepreneurs monthly. To schedule an appointment or learn more, call 920-946-9379 or email Ray.
WMEP Mentored Lean Six Sigma/Green Belt Certification Classes Begin September 5
With WMEP's Lean Six Sigma Certification, manufacturers can dramatically improve quality throughout the business. Using WMEP's unique Mentorship based learning, success is just about guaranteed! Participants learn to identify and lead both projects and other team members to increase their contributions and value to the organization.

This series consists of eight full day sessions held at the Radisson Hotel in Fond du Lac. All dates include continental breakfast and lunch. Session dates (all Thursdays) and times are designed around the elements of the DMAIC improvement cycle as follows:
·          Introduction and Project Selection: September 5, 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
·          Define: September 19, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
·          Measure: October 3, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
·          Measure: October 17, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
·          Analyze: October 31, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
·          Improve: November 14, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
·          Control: December 5, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm
·          Final Report-outs: December 19, 8:30 am – 4:00 pm

COST is $3,500 for first attendee; $3,000 for each additional from the same company.
Hear what Gavin Bence from Tailored Label Products has to say regarding this unique hands-on WMEP training program.  
2019 Conference on Minority, Woman, Veteran, and LGBTQ Business Development is October 23-24
The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is hosting the 38th annual MARKETPLACE conference for minority-, woman-, veteran- and LGBTQ-owned businesses October 23-24 at Potawatomi Hotel and Conference Center in Milwaukee. The conference is expected to draw more than 700 attendees and is sponsored by corporations, small businesses, and organizations, with U.S. Bank being this year’s Keystone Sponsor. The conference provides opportunities for businesses to meet with dozens of potential buyers, identify funding sources, connect with business assistance resources, and network with other businesses. Click here to register or for more information about MARKETPLACE. 
Effective Communication
Your success as a leader is determined largely by your ability to work productively with people. Improving day-to-day communications with your employees will increase job satisfaction, the effectiveness of work teams, and bottom-line results for your company. Specifically, effective communication can benefit you by:
  • Giving you greater awareness of your own communication style and how others respond to you.
  • Enhancing your ability to listen despite regular distractions.
  • Understanding how your nonverbal communication might affect your effectiveness.
  • Learning how perception influences communication and how to conduct quick checks for comprehension.
  • Improving your credibility and impact as a leader.

Date: Wednesday, September 18, 2019 | 8:30-3:30 pm
Location: Startup Hub, 2701 Larson Road, Green Bay
Cost: $200
Coaching for Performance
When a leader coaches for performance, they create an environment where employees and teams not only understand and embrace goals but meet and exceed them. Things will run smoothly even when you’re not on-site, and you’ll have time to focus on long-range business strategies. In this class, you will learn how to create a culture of accomplishment by:
  • Learning strategies to maximize your employees’ performance standards.
  • Coaching employees to leverage their potential.
  • Setting SMART goals to develop measurable results.
  • Improving your communication style to earn the respect of peers, managers, and employees.
  • Improving your reputation and credibility as a leader.
  • Gaining confidence in your ability to understand and influence others.

Date: Wednesday, September 25, 2019 | 8:30-3:30 pm
Location: Startup Hub, 2701 Larson Road, Green Bay
Cost: $200
Explore Starting a Business
The complimentary “Explore Starting a Business” session provides a look inside at what it takes to launch a startup and small business. Explore key factors in starting and growing a business. Begin to determine if you have a feasible idea, learn about critical questions to consider, and additional entrepreneurship training opportunities. Whether you are looking to turn your side hustle into a full-time gig, grow your small business, or scale a startup, this session will help you understand your next steps. Get more details and register here. The next sessions will be held on September 11 and October 8 at 5:30 pm at the Fox Valley Technical College Venture Center in Appleton.
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