February 2016
Executive Director Update
I might normally save discussions of change to coincide with an equinox, but sometimes you just have to go against the flow...
1) The obvious first change of the year is within our leadership. Josh Marron has moved into the President's role quite capably, not unexpected given his 10 years on the Good Neighbor Festival leadership team and prior board service here. Past-President Bob V has maintained a strong presence through the transition, or perhaps that's just a benefit of our proximity to Villa Dolce and Sofra? Regardless, the 2016 Board is off and running, working on our 2020 action plans - the Inspire program with Middleton-Cross Plains School District, a Business Bootcamp in August, expansion of Lunch & Learns, more leveraging of technology, family-friendly activities and more. Josh will cover much of this at GMM on March 3.
2) The Annual Celebration Committee changed things up a bit this past week, with a focus on our food & beverage members and electronic silent auction bidding. They built on what's worked in the past and the feedback has been supportive and overwhelmingly positive. Wheelhouse's music mix added tremendously to the energy at the Marriott, as did a nice attendance increase, and the bidding process was very smooth for a first run. Please thank Megan Wencel, Amanda Bauer-Bock, Lisa DuChateau and their team the next time you see them. Follow up your "tastings" with a visit to our great restaurant members, and stop in at event sponsor business - their underwriting is essential for a quality event.
3) Change #3 breaks a 30 year streak of having the Chamber at 7507 Hubbard Ave #104 (perhaps not as well known as 221B Baker St). With the approaching revitalization of Old Middleton Centre by T Wall Enterprises in April ( Phase 1 link here), we'll be clearing out of our long standing home and the easy access to the tap line at Village Green. The Board of Directors is looking at several options and TWE has been great with both potential temporary and long term solutions. Board discussions all center on "what's best for our members", so know that your interests will drive the decision. Details to follow!
4) Final significant change - the Middleton housing landscape. A group of us calculated that nearly 1,200 multi-family housing units are due to come online in the next 3 years in the City of Middleton. This additional housing can't hurt your talent recruiting efforts, and who isn't finding some challenges?
On behalf of the Chamber staff - Brenda, Lisa and myself - thank you for your membership! We look forward to serving your business in 2016.

- Van 
Upcoming Chamber Events

February 8, 11:30am
Ambassador Committee
Gilda's Club

February 9, 5-7pm
Business Social Hour (Register)
River Valley Bank
Come celebrate Fat Tuesday!

February 11, 7:30am
Get Moving Middleton (Register)
State of City Address
Hilton Garden Inn

February 11, 3:30-7pm
Ribbon Cutting (5:30pm) & Open House
KJWW Engineering - 1800 Deming Way, Suite 200

February 17, 8am
Ask the Expert - How to Promote Yourself (Register)
Edgewood College - Middleton Campus

February 17, 12pm
Economic Development Briefing (Register)
Wisconsin Bank & Trust

February 23, 11:45am-1pm
Lunch & Learn - Cloud Computing (Register)
Middleton Community Bank

View the Full Calendar

New Members

A & J Specialty Services, Inc.
816 Burton Boulevard, De Forest
(608) 846-9525

Amber Indian Cuisine
6913 University Avenue
(608) 824-0324 

August Publications
7600 Terrace Avenue, Suite 204
(608) 836-3730 

  AVID Risk Solutions
2501 Parmenter Street, Suite 200A
(608) 827-4525

Brightside Skincare
10 S. Meadow Ln.
(608) 284-8939

Empire Media Group
1412 13th Street, Monroe
(608) 325-2384 

Hovde Properties, LLC
122 W Washington Ave Suite 350
(608) 255-5175 

434 S. Yellowstone Dr., Suite 201
(608) 833-2873

Just in Time Refrigeration LLC
5018 Voges Road.
(608) 838-1314

Maes Consulting Group
8383 Greenway Blvd #600
(608) 826-7414

Pure Barre Madison Hilldale
702 N Midvale Blvd
608) 238-3610

TRC Environmental
708 Heartland Trail, Suite 3000
(608) 826-3671

Waterstone Mortgage Corp.
17 Applegate Court, Suite 100
(608) 729-5378

Work Plus Inc.
2318 Vondron Road
(608) 238-6018

World of Beer
8225 Greenway Blvd
(608) 833-5400

Members on the Move
Announcements|Awards|Hires & Promotions
December Real Estate Stats, Coldwell Banker Success has shared the December 2015 Real Estate Statistics.

Sam Simon Real Estate Has Moved, Simon Real Estate has relocated their office to 7500 Terrace Avenue, Suite 102 in Middleton. 

Springs Window Fashions Buys SunSetter, Middleton-based window-coverings maker Springs Window Fashions has acquired SunSetter Products.

ALTUS Announces January Leases, ALTUS Commercial Real Estate is pleased to announce their completed leases for the month of January.

Attic Angels Unveils New Website, Attic Angels Community hope to fly even higher in 2016 with the unveiling of a dynamic new website.

Zachow Promoted at Associated Bank, Rebecca Zachow has been promoted to Vice President, Market Manager with Associated Bank.

Wegner Announces Staff Promotions, Wegner CPAs is pleased to announce several staff promotions.  

Be Inspired Announces Promotions, Be Inspired Salon is pleased to announce that two of their stylists have been promoted.

Fonner Joins Settlers,  Settlers Bank is excited to announce the addition of Keenan Fonner to the Settler team.

Vaccaro Joins Wisconsin Bank & Trust,  Wisconsin Bank & Trust welcomes Jasper Vaccaro as Senior Vice President, Private Client Services Market Leader for Wisconsin Bank & Trust and Illinois Bank & Trust.

Executive of the Year Award Winners Honored, Join In Business Magazine for an awards presentation to honor the winners of the 3rd Annual Executive of the Year Awards.

13th Annual Wisconsin Family Business Awards,  Smith and Gesteland is pleased to announce that nominations are now open  for the 13th Annual Wisconsin Family Business of the Year Awards.

Middleton Community Bank Declared Champion in Battle of the Banks, The battle has been won!  This year's battle was waged between local contenders Middleton Community Bank, State Bank of Cross Plains and Associated Bank.

SVA Consulting Wins Award for Cloud Solutions, SVA Consulting has received the Avnet Cloud Solutions Partner of the Year Award.

Member Events

Think Rotary, Shop Locally, The Nordstrom Home

Commercial Real Estate for Your Business, SCORE Madison

Wake Up with Wegner, Wyndam Garden Hotel
More Info

Polar Plunge, Special Olympics Wisconsin
More Info

Women's Empowerment Workshop, Susan Young Int'l

Separating Your Product/Service from Commodity, SCORE

How Did You Get From There to Here?
Profiles on the vocational journey

Interview by Linda Abbott
Linda, owner of Never Forget Legacies & Tributes, creates heirloom-quality legacy books for individuals and families to preserve cherished memories and life stories. An award-winning journalist, author and public relations professional, Linda lives in Middleton with her husband Paul.
Meet: Melissa Ernst
Co-Owner/Marketing Director,
Harbor Athletic Club 


Where did you grow up?  What did you want to be when you grew up? 

I was born and raised in Middleton.  Growing up I had many dreams like being a professional athlete, fashion designer and a lawyer, but I always dreamed of being part of my parents' health club business.  


What was your first job?  

My siblings and I all grew up working at Harbor.  My first jobs at Harbor were handing out locker keys and stamping envelopes.  Besides Harbor, my first job was babysitting.  


You mentioned that your career path didn't land you on the doorstep of Harbor.  Tell me about the jobs you had earlier in your career. 

When I started college I went into fashion marketing and opened a vintage boutique in downtown Middleton.  After realizing that it wasn't what I was passionate about and I missed being part of Harbor, I returned to school for recreation management and played three years of volleyball.  My siblings and I took over ownership of Harbor in 2010, along with Todd Passini, and it has allowed me pursue my passions and grow in new ways.  I am now back in school for Christian Counseling and hope to be able to broaden Harbor's services to assist both physical and mental health.   


What prompted your mom and dad to start Harbor in 1984?    

My dad had been in the health club business for a few years and was constantly seeing how the  industry did not value people.  When he was offered the chance to have ownership in a club in Middleton (from Bob Thompson of Prairie Athletic Club) he wanted to create a different athletic club, one that valued its employees and invested in people.  


Harbor is celebrating its 32nd anniversary this year.  What are you most proud of?  What was your family's vision and how has it evolved over the years? 

I am beyond proud of my parents for their vision for Harbor.  My dad wanted Harbor to be different and wanted the people to be what made Harbor special.  He invested in his employees and treated them like family.  They always wanted Harbor to feel comfortable and be a safe place to exercise and pursue a healthy lifestyle.   


The family focus is still evident today.  Our vision and mission has not changed much over the thirty-two years but the services and offerings have continual evolved.  Harbor started as a racquetball club and is now a full service health club and yoga and Pilates studio.  I am proud that we have always stayed true to our mission and that we have been able to serve the Middleton and Madison community for over thirty years.  


Harbor offers dozens of classes - swimming, yoga, cycling, weight training to name a few.  What are some of the challenges of programming classes and activities for members ranging in age from toddlers to older adults? 

This is what makes Harbor so special.  We really have something for everyone.  I love seeing everyone from babies to 90-year-olds walk through our doors.  It has always been our mission to serve our community and our members, knowing that fitness is a lifelong pursuit.   


Challenges do come with all these offerings.  Our biggest problem is probably space.  We have become very good at making the most of every part of our facility!  We work hard to make sure that we are always offering the best programs and new classes to keep our members excited about exercise.   


What is your favorite part of your job? 

I can truly say that I love my job.  My favorite part of my job is being part of a community that helps people live a healthier life.  Getting to know our members and hearing their stories is always inspiring and humbling.  The team of employees we have is amazing and seeing their growth and what they're passionate about is pretty special.  And I am extremely grateful that I get to do this all with my family.   


Is there anything new coming in 2016?   

We are excited to announce our newest venture, Canvas Club Boxing, which will open in early 2016 on Monroe Street in Madison.  Canvas Club is a fitness boxing studio that provides participants with a high energy class that is based on boxing principles.  Participants will train like a boxer by using heavy bags and various drills in the boxing ring.  We are excited to offer something unique to the Madison area!  


Where do you live and what do you like to do for fun?   

I live in Middleton, walking distance from Harbor.  I enjoy the lakes and sand volleyball in the summer and the many other great outdoor activities that the Madison area has to offer.  I also love trying all the great restaurants in our area.  I am blessed to have my family close by so we get to enjoy time together often.  I have been involved with high school ministry for five years now and love getting to know students and see them grow in their faith.  I have traveled to Romania twice with high schoolers to serve with Open Roads Ministry which helps adult orphans.

January Renewals
Adams Outdoor Advertising

American Cancer Society

Anytime Fitness

Bank Mutual

BConnected, LLC

Boley Tree & Landscape Care

Borakove Osman, LLC

Choice Floors WI

City of Middleton

Confectionique LLC

Cresa Madison

Dean Health Plan

Edward Jones - Riley

Eno Vino Wine Bar & Bistro

Event Essentials

EZ Office Products

Frank Liquor Co -
Frank Beer Distributors

Gallant Knight Limousine, Inc.

Gilson Inc.

Gio's Garden

Hausmann-Johnson Insurance

Holy Wisdom Monastery


Kayla's Custom Cleaning

Key Commercial Real Estate

KMI - Kalish Masonry, LLC

Kothe Real Estate Partners

LegalShield SM - Susan D. Oja

Lift Consulting

Luedtke-Storm-Mackey Chiropractic Clinic, S.C.

M&M Office Interiors, Inc.

Magic Wash Car Wash

McDonald's Restaurant -
Allen Blvd.

McDonald's Restaurant - Greenway

Memorial Pet Services, Inc.

Middleton Farmers Co-op

Middleton Fire District

Morey Airplane Company, Inc.

Network Engineering Technologies (NET)

Northwestern Mutual
Financial Network

OccuPaws Guide Dog Association

Orange Shoe Personal Fitness

Pleasant View Golf Course
Restaino & Associates -
The Markley Team

Rowland Reading Foundation



Spencer X Smith Consulting

Sprinkman Real Estate

St. Vincent de Paul Madison

Stark Company Realtors - Roche

Stoppleworth Plumbing, Ltd.

StoryFirst Media LLC

SwimWest Swim School

Tabby & Jacks

TDS Telecom

The Business Source LLC

The QTI Group

The Storage Guy

Tony Trapp Remodeling & Repairs, LLC

Valencia Place Apartments - Prime Urban Properties


Wisconsin Brewing Company

Workspace Studio

Celebrating Middleton Chamber Anniversaries
5 Years
J.H. Findorff & Son
StoryFirst Media

10 Years
Middleton Art & Framing
Restaino & Associated - The Markley Team
The Storage Guy
Wussow Chiropractic
Yahara Software

20 Years
Edward Jones - Shannon Riley
Northwestern Mutual Financial Network
Pleasant View Golf Course
Zingg Design

30 Years
Morey Airplane Company

Thank You for your continued support!