2012 Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Awards Program Nominee Company Profiles (alphabetically – 58 total)
Access Battery, LLC.
6619 West Calumet Road
Milwaukee, WI 53223
Norine Carlson-Weber, President
35 Employees; 34 Wisconsin Employees
WHO WE ARE: Access Battery, LLC, a division of Alpha Source, Inc., employs 34 hard-working employees who design, develop, assemble, and sell battery packs for use in medical and non-medical devices. Access Battery was acquired by Alpha Source out of Elizabeth, Colorado in 2005 and was moved to Alpha Source's headquarters in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. A woman- owned business since 2001, Alpha Source, Inc. received national certification in April 2012 as a Women's Business Enterprise from the Women's Business Enterprise National Council (WBENC). Collectively Alpha Source and Access Battery have over 10,000 customers globally which include hospitals, independent service organizations that provide equipment maintenance for hospitals, and distributors. Alpha Source is focused on continuous improvements of products and processes to instill changes that provide products that meet or exceed customer expectations. Continual improvements include modifications to packaging in order to minimize shipping damages to heavy duty battery packs. The improvement not only resulted in reductions in shipping damages but also reduced packaging time. Importantly, Access Battery encourages their customer base to seek them out to help with proper disposal and recycling of batteries.
Alliance Laundry Systems, LLC
221 Shepard Street
Ripon, WI 54971
Mike Schoeb, President and CEO
1500 Employees; 1000 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: The PrivateBank
WHO WE ARE: Alliance Laundry, located in Ripon, is the largest commercial laundry manufacturer in the world and employs 1,000 devoted Wisconsinites. Alliance Laundry's impressive range of products sets them apart from their competition in that they are the only manufacturer in North America to produce a full commercial product line including top load washers, dryers, front load washers, washer-extractors and tumble dryers for all commercial consumer groups. This provides customers with a one-stop solution for their stand-alone commercial laundry equipment needs. The success from their continuous improvement, coupled with increased sales weighed heavy in Alliance Laundry's decision to expand its manufacturing operations. In early July of 2012 the company announced a $24 million expansion project that will add 270 new skilled jobs to its 1,300 employee base. The expansion illustrates the company's continued commitment to, and belief in, the community and the state.
W164 N9221 Water Street
Menomonee Falls, WI 53051
Karen Maahs Hansen, Chief Executive Officer & Steven R. Maahs, President and COO
330 Employees; 310 Wisconsin Employees
WHO WE ARE: Alto-Shaam Inc., headquarted in Menomonee Falls, is quickly becoming a global leader in the foodservice and medical equipment manufacturing industry thanks to their core principles; innovation, continuous improvement, and respect. Alto‐Shaam introduced low-temperature cooking to the culinary world through the production and sale of food cooking products such as cook and hold ovens, food warmers, steam and convection combination ovens, rotisserie ovens, fryers, buffet servers, and hot delicatessen cases. These products are used in most commercial kitchens in establishments such as hotels, schools, grocery stores, casinos, and cruise ships around the world. Alto-Shaam is able to produce their wide array of products due to the 330 associates employed there who are committed to embodying the company's core principles.
Anteco Pharma, LLC
925 Development Drive
Lodi, WI 53555
Howard Teeter & Christopher Conlon, Owners
20 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: Columbia County Economic Development Corporation
WHO WE ARE: Anteco Pharma is a contract manufacturer based in Lodi, Wisconsin that employs 20 highly skilled Wisconsin workers. Anteco serves three separate industries; pharmaceutical, medical device, and nutritional to which they provide freeze drying, packaging, sterile filling, and formulation services. They specialize in the lyophilization (freeze-drying) and related processing of pharmaceutical intermediates, medical devices and specialty food and nutritional ingredients. Examples of their typical products would include wound management dressings and solutions, stable probiotics, nutritional cultures, and clinical phase pharmaceutical materials, to name a few. Anteco Pharma and their employees are actively involved locally, regionally and statewide. Anteco Pharma is a member of the Lodi/Lake Wisconsin Chamber of Commerce and contributes to local community and school activities. Customers commit to Anteco Pharma because of their industry-leading facilities and cost-effective solutions for a wide variety of manufacturing and product development challenges.
Automation Components, Inc.
2305 Pleasant View Road
Middleton, WI 53562
Troy Schwenn, President/Owner
148 Employees; 146 Wisconsin Employees
WHO WE ARE: Automation Components, Inc. (ACI) has been a manufacturer and distributor of sensors for the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) Industry since 1991. Their products include temperature, relative humidity, current, and pressure related sensors. Throughout the years ACI has grown from 11 to 148 employees who are dedicated to providing the highest quality products possible. ACI documents the number of returns based on manufacturing errors and that number is 0.072%. This number is a direct reflection on the commitment their quality control department has made to cover potential issues before they arise, and treat any existing issue with the utmost importance. ACI has made a name for themselves within the HVAC Industry by providing a high-quality product with top notch delivery times and customer service. ACI is not content with customers simply "liking" their products and service levels; it is their goal to produce products and provide service that causes customers to "rave" about them!
Badger Alloys, Inc.
5120 West State Street
Milwaukee, WI 53208
Robert Cowen, President and CEO
97 Wisconsin Employees
WHO WE ARE:
From pattern construction or modification to casting to finish machining, Badger Alloys offers assurance that every job they undertake will be produced to their customer's exacting requirements. Founded in 1966, Badger Alloys is a ferrous and non-ferrous foundry that is located in the heart of Milwaukee. They demonstrated their commitment to the environment by becoming one of the first manufacturers to get involved with ME3 (Milwaukee Economy, Energy, Environment), which promotes the implementation of cost-effective sustainable manufacturing practices and technologies that reduce community-wide negative environmental impacts. Also, Badger Alloys is actively involved with Milwaukee Public Schools and groups including Second Chance Partners for Education, MMAC-Manufacturing Career Partnerships, and the Steel Founders' Society of America's Apprenticeship Program to do their part in developing and supporting the local workforce. Importantly, Badger Alloys extends the definition of "family owned and operated" to include many of their employees' families. They look for opportunities to employ fathers, aunts, cousins, sons, whenever possible. This keeps employees happy and helps find productive staff, all while stimulating the local workforce.
Badger Magnetics, Inc.
7939 West Tower Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53223
Cliff Evans, President
83 Employees; 28 Wisconsin Employees
WHO WE ARE: Badger Magnetics, Inc., located in Milwaukee, specializes in the design and manufacture of electromagnetic products. They serve an impressively broad customer base that includes transportation, power conversion and conditioning, solar power, wind power, electric and hybrid vehicles, oil and natural gas, military, nuclear power, commercial lighting, theater lighting, heavy equipment, mining, medical equipment, security and safety, electronics, aerospace, material handling and more. Badger Magnetics is an engineering and manufacturing company which is known for designing wound magnetic products that are very difficult, thus most other companies will not attempt. One of the best examples would be the "Mag-Con" rotary speed sensor, designed to detect either over-speed or under-speed conditions in rotary machinery, a standard in the mining industry. The sensor has earned a reputation for excellence so widespread that mining companies refer to it as a "Mag-Con" just as we commonly refer to facial tissue as Kleenex. Badger Magnetics' train detection systems are an integral part of the New York and New Jersey rail system (PATH). Badger Magnetics has been called upon to replace dozens of systems in order to get the trains rolling in the aftermath of super‐storm Sandy and also for the New York subway after 9/11.
Baptista's Bakery, Inc.
4625 West Oakwood Park Drive
Franklin, WI 53132
Tom Howe, President
225 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: The PrivateBank
WHO WE ARE: Baptista's Bakery is a product-development and manufacturing company of great-tasting, healthy snack products for branded snack companies and retailers throughout North America. Nan Gardetto, Baptista's owner, started the company in 1999. The company had grown from 50 to over 200 employees at its original food plant located in Franklin, Wisconsin. Recently, the company has designed, constructed, and is now operating an expansion of the original facility by adding 125,000 square feet and has plans for further growth in the near future. Baptista's has created a solid foundation of people, products, and processes to build upon and are committed to organization development and continuous improvement. Every dollar of profit has been reinvested in the business.
Briggs & Stratton Corporation
3300 North 124th Street
Wauwatosa, WI 53222
Todd Teske, President and CEO
6056 Employees; 1372 Wisconsin Employees
WHO WE ARE: As the world's largest manufacturer of gasoline-powered engines for outdoor power equipment, it is no surprise that Briggs & Stratton, located in Wauwatosa, employs a staggering number of 1,372 Wisconsinites. Their multi-talented employees design, manufacture, market, and service air cooled gasoline engines for outdoor power equipment worldwide. Briggs & Stratton believes in investing in people and technology as part of their commitment toward customer support and in response to a growing consumer need — offering product-related assistance straight from the manufacturer. From troubleshooting to answering general questions or other issues, live Answer Center representatives empower consumers to fix their own equipment through a variety of mediums including phone support, online chat, and social media such as Facebook and onsite help during times of severe weather. Much of the company's continued success is due to them being able to continuously modify their business approach when and where it is necessary or beneficial. Most recently, their leadership team has successfully launched the company into new market territories beyond lawn and garden to provide solutions based on unmet needs in a shifting marketplace.
Cambridge Major Laboratories, Inc.
W130 N10197 Washington Drive
Germantown, WI 53022
Brian Scanlan, President and CEO
200 Employees; 145 Wisconsin Employees
WHO WE ARE: One of the country's top pharmaceutical manufacturing organizations is located in Germantown, Wisconsin. Cambridge Major Laboratories provides chemistry research, development, and manufacturing services to the world's leading pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. The company's scientists are hard at work developing new cost-effective ways to produce new drugs for myriad diseases including cancer, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, central nervous system disorders, and third-world challenges such as tuberculosis and malaria. Cambridge is proud that many of their 145 Wisconsin employees have been selected and recruited from excellent talent pools such as the University of Wisconsin, Marquette University, and other Midwest academic institutions. The company also has an active generic drug program and has developed over 12 low cost generic substances for products ranging from anti-hypertension drugs to cardiac imaging agents. Cambridge views the lower cost of living and lower cost of doing business in Wisconsin as a major advantage, and makes sure to pass those savings directly to their customers. Cambridge represents the future of manufacturing in the state of Wisconsin – namely high tech, good-paying jobs driven by cutting-edge technology, R&D, and manufacturing assets that cannot be duplicated overseas.
Double K, Inc., dba Hometown Trolley
701 North Railroad Avenue
Crandon, WI 54520
Kristina Pence-Dunow, President and CEO
22 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: Forest County Economic Development Partnership
WHO WE ARE: Double K, Inc., doing business as Hometown Trolley in Crandon, Wisconsin, employs 22 enthusiastic workers who produce custom trolley buses for the public transit industry. They manufacture both gasoline and diesel trolleys as well as alternative fuels such as CNG, LPG, Hybrid and full electric with zero emissions. Hometown Trolley strives for continued success and innovation by effectively utilizing the philosophies of high quality, advance technology and techniques, and customer service which explains which has resulted in having a very strong repeat customer base. Due to their substantial investment into research and development coupled with exhaustive efforts to lead the field in the manufacturing process and exceed federal regulations for their vehicles, Hometown Trolley is now at least 18 months ahead of their competition, which will fuel sales success for many years to come. Instead of resting on their success, Hometown Trolley is constantly making headway into the future of trolley technology. As a result, they are a flexible company, able to adapt to meet the individual needs of each customer, while never compromising on quality.
100 West North Street
DeForest, WI 53532
Dale Evans, President
900 Employees; 300 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: Wells Fargo Commercial Banking
WHO WE ARE: EVCO Plastics, headquartered in Deforest, Wisconsin, is a global, custom plastic injection molder that prides itself on tapping the latest molding and mold-building technologies to create the most economic solutions for its customers. 2012 gave EVCO Plastics cause for great celebration as they were able to bounce back from the recent economic downturn stronger than ever, and have experienced significant growth for the second year in a row. The company is projected to enjoy another year of record-setting growth. Instead of resting on their past success, EVCO Plastic's President, Dale Evans, often reminds his employees to "Stay humble, stay nervous," as a reminder that every day is a new opportunity to learn, grown, and improve upon the last. EVCO Plastics is a company that is extremely proud to be a manufacturer based in the great state of Wisconsin. They concentrate a great deal of effort on ensuring they maintain a corporate environment which values the individuals who work within their organization and are passionate about the chance to create jobs that will help more Wisconsin citizens provide for their families.
G & V Machine Company, Inc.
N8100 Industrial Drive
Ixonia, WI 53036
Julie Gottschalk, President
131 Wisconsin Employees
Medium and Workforce Development Categories
Nominated by: Associated Bank
WHO WE ARE: In 1946 William Griswold Sr. began machining castings in his basement. Since that humble beginning G & V Machine Company has grown to become a company employing 131 workers who provide machined parts for the agriculture, construction, petroleum and mining industries. They specialize in providing tight-tolerance, highly accurate components for complicated end-use products such as graders, crawler tractors, farm tractors and combines. G & V is a woman-owned company that is a third generation family business. Not only do two of Willard Griswold's grandchildren, Julie Gottschalk and Chris Griswold, currently lead the G & V team, but a quarter of their workforce has a family member working with them. As G & V has been in business for 66 years, many of their relationships with suppliers and customers go back two or three generations and are founded in trust and experience. Beyond extensive on-the-job training for machinists and off-site training for managers, G & V has a generous continuing education reimbursement program that pays 100% of tuition and other school expenses. While working full-time, many employees have earned degrees in manufacturing engineering, accounting, and mechanical design.
Gemini Plastics, Inc.
1333 Viking Lane
De Pere, WI 54115
Joe Beausoleil, President
18 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: Titletown Law, LLC
WHO WE ARE: Gemini Plastics, Inc. in De Pere manufactures custom-designed plastic components and specializes in CNC plastic milling and routing, plastic injection, molding and vacuum forming, engineering, and plastics distribution. Their business is creating "plastic solutions" to manufacturing problems. Gemini Plastics is committed to producing solutions customers believe warrant a long-term relationship and a profit margin that allows them to continually exceed customer expectations. Each of Gemini Plastic's 18 employees feels fortunate to be in the plastics business in Wisconsin since it has such a diverse manufacturing climate, as do the surrounding states. In fact, not one marketplace makes up more than 12% of the company's annual sales, allowing them to manage better growth and maintain loyal, long-term employees, customers, and venders. At Gemini Plastics the employee philosophy is "We don't have to do what we do, we get to." The commitment of management to a positive employee experience allows the company to have positive customer experiences every time. It's easy to see why the average length of service for a Gemini Plastics employee is up to 12 years!
Greenheck Fan Corporation
PO Box 410
Schofield, WI 54476
Jim McIntyre, President and CEO
2500 Employees; 1775 Wisconsin Employees
WHO WE ARE: Greenheck products are mostly likely on the roof or hidden behind the walls and ceilings of the office buildings, hotels, schools, restaurants, and shopping malls we so often frequent. Greenheck designs, manufactures, and ships fans and ventilators, centrifugal and vane axial units, make-up air units, energy recovery ventilators, dampers, louvers, kitchen ventilation systems, and laboratory exhaust systems around the world. The company has come a very long way since it began as a tiny sheet metal shop in Schofield, Wisconsin in 1947. Today, Greenheck is the leading manufacturer of commercial and institutional ventilation equipment and offers a wider selection than any of the competition in their market segment. Greenheck significantly impacts the central Wisconsin area in many forms. The wages and benefits paid to the hard-working employees supports over 1,775 families living in the area. The company also injects many millions of dollars purchasing goods and services from central Wisconsin vendors, many of which depend on Greenheck's business.
HFM Packaging Ltd.
N26 W23322 Paul Road
Pewaukee, WI 53072
Paul Martinez, President
18 Wisconsin Employees
WHO WE ARE: HFM Packaging Ltd. in Milwaukee is a 100% minority-owned business founded by Harvey Martinez in 1976 to serve the flexible packaging industry. HFM specializes in providing creative, engineered solutions to the rapidly evolving flexible packaging market. They are a converter for the flexible packaging industry, specializing in re-sealable technology. The company's products include flexible pouches and roll-stock with peel and re-seal labels or zippers, used in a variety of applications including medical, industrial and retail. As a multi-generational family business, HFM prides itself in providing long term employment with exceptional benefits to its employees. In the last three years, HFM revenues have increased significantly and they fully expect continued growth in years to come. In 2012 HFM was named the 2011 Supplier of the Year by Sage Products, a worldwide leader in disposable healthcare products, supplying advanced patient hygiene packaging that reduces the risk of hospital-acquired infection. This was the fourth time HFM received this award since the year 2000.
HUSCO Automotive Holdings, LLC
1116 Universal Boulevard
Whitewater, WI 53190
Austin Ramirez, Chief Executive Officer
189 Employees; 139 Wisconsin Employees
WHO WE ARE: HUSCO Automotive Holdings in Whitewater designs and manufactures electro-hydraulic controls used in automotive applications. Their story can be traced back to the mid-1990s when HUSCO International developed a strategic plan including a plan to diversify into the automotive sector. HUSCO Automotive's product strategy is based on developing innovative new technologies such as cam phasing, cylinder deactivation, advanced transmissions, and start-stop systems to improve the fuel efficiency of internal combustion engines. These cutting-edge technologies create significant improvements to our environment and will reduce Walworth County's reliance on foreign energy sources. HUSCO Automotive first began to experience remarkable growth in 2008 when high international fuel prices forced automakers to utilize new technologies in order to improve fuel efficiency. HUSCO's knowledge and expertise regarding the development of advanced powertrain components allowed them to design new components quicker and at a lower cost than their competitors.
Interior Systems, Inc.
241 North Broadway, Suite 600
Milwaukee, WI 53202
Anthony Lutz, President and CEO
219 Employees; 192 Wisconsin Employees
Medium and Workforce Development Categories
WHO WE ARE: Interior Systems, Inc. is a multi-faceted organization that helps business in the retail, education, and restaurant industry "get noticed" through means of interior design, seating and décor manufacturing, brand management and program management. For more than 30 years, the Milwaukee, Wisconsin based company has been serving clients such as McDonald's, KFC, Kohler, and Harley-Davidson, to name a few. Interior Systems founder, Lindsey Bovinet, searches for "bright, ambitious, nice people who enjoy being around others like them" when hiring many of Interior Systems' 192 impassioned Wisconsin employees. Interior Systems also has a Midwest production facility that is located in Fond du Lac. Interior Systems is addressing the need for manufacturing talent through efforts in conjunction with their local association of commerce, area technical colleges, high schools, and most recently, elementary schools. ISI frequently opens their doors to area schools and technical colleges to showcase the facility and recruit talent by hosting special Fond du Lac Association of Commerce events.
J&R Machine, Inc.
1355 Beauprey Road
Shawano, WI 54166
Tim Tumanic, President
30 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: Shawano County Economic Progress, Inc.
WHO WE ARE: J & R Machine, Inc. in Shawano, Wisconsin engineers and machines complex industrial metal parts for other manufacturer's products and equipment. The highly engineered and machined complex industrial metal parts that J&R manufacture are generally critical to the function and quality of their customer's products and equipment. That factor helps significantly decrease the possibility of the part being outsourced to inexpensive foreign competitors. Not only is J&R proud to be a part of the Shawano area, it is their belief that part of being a great company is being a great corporate citizen. They show their commitment to that belief in part through their current work with the Shawano school district to update the community high school machine shop program. They have budgeted for the purchase of CNC machine tools and will assist in the updates of curriculum to match the skills needed in today's machine shop environment. This new program will kick off during the 2013-2014 school year.
KHS USA, Inc.
880 Bahcall Court
Waukesha, WI 53186
Michael Brancato, President
342 Employees; 216 Wisconsin Employees
Large and Workforce Development Categories
Established in 1971
WHO WE ARE: KHS USA is a global leader and preferred supplier to the packaging industry with a focus on beverage applications and turnkey lines, systems, and solutions. Their customer base includes some of the largest food and beverage companies in the world such as Coca-Cola, PepsiCo, MillerCoors, Anheuser-Busch InBev, Procter & Gamble, and Kraft. These companies rely on KHS equipment to bring their products to consumers' homes every day. KHS believes community involvement is crucial to a happy workforce and live by their motto "Think Global, Act Local." Since the talent pool for technical/manufacturing jobs has been shrinking, KHS partners with local colleges, such as Milwaukee School of Engineering (MSOE) and the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, inviting students to participate in internships and apprenticeships. They also participate in MSOE career fairs to educate and promote their company to prospective students. As a follow up to these fairs, they invite MSOE students to KHS open house events which gives students the opportunity to tour KHS facilities and meet directly with employees in their field of study. In the fall of 2012 they also established a KHS engineering scholarship to foster engineering education and prepare students to enter the profession.
KLH Industries, Inc.
N117 W18607 Fulton Drive
Germantown, WI 53022
Kenneth L. Heins, President and CEO & Connie Heins, Secretary and Treasurer
39 Wisconsin Employees
Small and Workforce Development Categories
Nominated by: Commerce State Bank
WHO WE ARE: In July 1987, journeyman tool and die maker Kenneth L. Heins founded KLH Industries, Inc., confident he could make quality parts if given the chance. Back then KLH consisted of only one room, one machine, and one full time employee, KLH's founder himself. Kenneth Heins has turned KLH from a one-room shop into a one-stop custom machining shop. In the past year alone, KLH machined over 850,000 parts that are above the sky, beneath the ocean, and everywhere in between. By tapping into the aerospace and defense markets, KLH has continued a ten year tradition of stable growth. KLH utilizes several weapons in the war against the skill trades gap. They offer partial tuition reimbursement for all employees, whether first-year apprentice or veteran tool and die maker. KLH has also been heavily involved in the development of a new competency-based apprenticeship program in Wisconsin, called NIMS (National Institute for Metalworking Skills). Unlike other apprenticeships, which are based on number of hours, the NIMS standards are based on skill competencies to provide more complete and unified training.
Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co., Inc.
1323 South Eleventh Avenue
Wausau, WI 54401
Mike Salsieder, President
1051 Employees; 995 Wisconsin Employees
WHO WE ARE: Kolbe & Kolbe Millwork Co., Inc. was founded when CEO Judy Gorski's father and uncle began a business repairing and building windows and door frames out of a wash house on a family dairy farm in Marathon. Since those days in 1946, Kolbe & Kolbe has grown into a nationally recognized leader in the high-end window and door industry, selling its broad range of product offerings through hundreds of distributors and dealers across the United States, Canada and beyond. Kolbe & Kolbe is a shining example of a business that has grown both in the size of its facilities and in numbers of employees, yet has retained those important family values that remain at the core of the company's very existence. During the recent recession, Kolbe's staff remained steadfast in their commitment to continuous improvement and focused on maintaining strong relationships with customers, the community, and suppliers as well as developing innovative, high-quality products and delivering exceptional quality service.
L&M Corrugated Container Corporation
32 Insight Drive
Platteville, WI 53818
Steve Lopes, Chief Executive Officer
66 Employees; 27 Employees
Nominated by: City of Platteville
WHO WE ARE: L&M Corrugated Container Corporation in Platteville produces a wide variety of products, from standard stock boxes to custom packaging. Specific products include corrugated shipping cartons, custom die cuts, pop displays, shipping supplies, and custom inner packing to name a few. L&M's design department is equipped with a Kongsberg sample table that can provide potential customers with any sample they require and allowing them to view the product before making a purchase. They also offer 24/7 customer assistance where representatives are ready to take calls for quotes or place orders for companies. With over 100,000 square feet of production and storage capabilities, L&M can also provide companies with weekly vendor-managed or onsite inventories. Since the Platteville operation opened in 2006, it has shown an average year-over-year growth of 85% resulting in parallel growth in staffing, customers, and product bases. L&M currently employs 27 Wisconsin citizens and plan to add jobs and move all their facilities into Wisconsin.
M&M Tool and Mold, LLC
3300 Commodity Lane
Green Bay, WI 54304
Dave Roen, Chief Executive Officer
33 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: Advance Economic Development
WHO WE ARE: M&M Tool and Mold in Green Bay specializes in small and medium-size molds and delivers award-winning plastic injection mold building to the automotive, agricultural, recreational vehicle, consumer products and medical industries. M&M's philosophy regarding customers is "What you need, when you need it." By combining highly-skilled technicians and lights-out automation, M&M consistently designs, builds, produces and delivers orders in "half the time." Their recent financial growth is a direct result of the decision to shift their focus to highly complex tooling and customer service aimed at serving OEM markets in order to set themselves apart from their competition. M&M has recently become involved with the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to explore options for assisting local agencies to educate young people on the importance of advance manufacturing and they also participate in the youth apprenticeship program through WEDC. Importantly, M&M is currently working a specific curriculum revolved around the complex requirements for entry level manufacturing positions in the tool and die industry.
Masters Gallery Foods, Inc.
411 County Highway PP
PO Box 170
Plymouth, WI 53073
Jeff Giffin, President and CEO
430 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: Wells Fargo Bank
WHO WE ARE: Founded in 1974 by entrepreneur and innovator Leonard "Butch" Gentine, Jr., Masters Gallery Foods is a family-owned and operated business that has grown from a small Plymouth, Wisconsin-based cheese brokerage firm to one of the leading national cheese suppliers. Today they maintain one of the largest privately held cheese inventories in the country and offer a full line of retail and foodservice cheese products. Masters Gallery Foods has three divisions; retail customers look to Masters Gallery to deliver high-quality, innovative products that stand out on the grocery store shelf. Likewise, foodservice customers rely on them to help them develop the signature menu items their customers want. Lastly, their industrial clients know when they call Masters Gallery they are virtually guaranteed to have the cheese they need, every time. Masters Gallery partners with the community through workforce development, charitable contributions, cultural investments, and employee volunteerism. Masters Gallery foods also partners with Lakeshore Technical College to invest in the development of a high-speed packaging training program at Plymouth High School.
MGS Mfg. Group, Inc.
W188 N11707 Maple Road
Germantown, WI 53022
Mark G. Sellers, Chief Executive Officer
957 Employees; 440 Wisconsin Employees
WHO WE ARE: MGS Mfg. Group proudly celebrated their 30th anniversary on July 14, 2012 and the company's remarkable growth from a small garage-size tool shop in 1982 to a globally recognized builder of high performance world-class injection molding systems. MGS Mfg. Group is a leading provider to the plastics industry, with services including engineering and design, mold making, development and qualification, injection molding, multishot technologies, scalable automation, assemblies, and complete turnkey manufacturing systems. Some of the most successful companies in the world partner with MGS Mfg. Group. Either directly or indirectly, MGS supplies engineered services and products to 38 of the manufacturing-based companies on the USA and Global Fortune 200 list. Since the early 1990s, MGS has worked with the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development to provide college students the opportunity to be an apprentice and learn hands-on skills of a trade while continuing their schooling. MGS currently offers apprenticeship programs for tool and die, machinists (CNC operators), and mold designers. In 2012, MGS Mfg. Group increased their staff of interns and apprentices by 100% over the year before.
Miller-St. Nazianz, Inc.
511 East Main Street
St. Nazianz, WI 54232
John W. Miller, President and CEO
269 Employees; 266 Wisconsin Employees
Medium and Workforce Development Categories
WHO WE ARE: Since 1899, Miller St. Nazianz, Inc. has served the changing needs of agricultural producers out of their facilities in St. Nazianz, Wisconsin. In the many years since their beginning, Miller has evolved from a local farm supplier and equipment distributor to become a manufacturer with over $120 million in annual sales and 270 employees producing world-class field sprayers and feed storage equipment. Miller's primary focus is producing application equipment, such as field sprayers, designed to apply crop protection products to farm fields, as well as dry fertilizer applicators. As a Wisconsin manufacturer in Manitowoc County, Miller's focus on pursuing unique product innovation and market diversification has enabled them to continue to be one of the regions strongest employers with a track record of growth, enhancing the community and often defying the national trends. Miller works to solve Wisconsin's current skills gap issue using several methods. Employees seeking education in a related field of study are eligible to receive 100% reimbursement of tuition and books. They partner with the state-sponsored Manitowoc County High School Youth Apprenticeship Program, which they have been involved in for over ten years, having participated since the beginning. Miller was also part of a collaborative effort called Project Mini Chopper where four teams of high school students built mini-choppers as part of a Manitowoc County-wide effort to promote careers in manufacturing.
N.E.W. Plastics Corp.
112th Fourth Street
Luxemburg, WI 54217
Mike Rekitzke, President
196 Employees; 191 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: Recoveron
WHO WE ARE: N.E.W. Plastics Corp. was founded in 1968 by Irvin Vincent after the plastics industry exploded after World War II, and he began exploring the idea of recycling their plastic trimmings and industrial waste. Today, N.E.W. Plastics Corp. manufactures containers, plastic lumber, and components made from other prime and recycled material. The company's annual sales are $35 million and growing. Their blow molded products can be found in many major industries including health care, personal hygiene, health and fitness, childcare products, and the automotive industry. N.E.W. Plastic Corp.'s employment objectives include hiring 80% of all production team members from within a 15-mile radius of the production facility. They strive to "work local" and "hire local" because the N.E.W. Plastics Corp. owners made a commitment to the local community to have good, stable jobs with good pay and benefits. Today, N.E.W. Plastics Corp. makes continued efforts to limit waste and promote recycling through product design and material content as well as through their corporate policies and practices. Their commitment is to provide the best possible product while protecting the environment for future generations.
Nekoosa Coated Products, LLC.
841 Market Street
Nekoosa, WI 54457
Paul Charapata, President and CEO
87 Employees; 78 Wisconsin Employees
Small and Workforce Development Categories
WHO WE ARE: Nekoosa Coated Products is a specialty paper manufacturer and converter located in Nekoosa, Wisconsin for nearly 50 years. Nekoosa continues the tradition of manufacturing carbonless papers while creating their own legacy with their recent diversification into specialty substrates like synthetic papers, pressure-sensitive films, magnetic paper and coated papers. Nekoosa makes it their goal to closely monitor changes in the industry, remain positive and boldly move forward with the development of innovative new products. They have expanded their product portfolio to include twelve new specialty products in the past five years, and those products now represent 25% of their business. Nekoosa takes special care to focus on building relationships with local businesses. All their carbonless base stock is manufactured here and they utilize the services of many area printers, engineering firms, and telecommunication organizations for product testing, phone support, and printing services. Nekoosa places great value on workforce development which they demonstrated through the creation of the U9 employee development program used to establish key development roles in their organization, offer cross training opportunities for employees and develop important communication, leadership and prioritization skills amongst all employees.
Nicolet Plastics, Inc.
16685 State Road 32
Mountain, WI 54149
Bob MacIntosh, President and CEO
73 Wisconsin Employees
Small and Workforce Development Categories
WHO WE ARE: Nicolet Plastics, Inc. is a custom plastics injection molder and total solutions provider. They produce plastic parts and components for a wide array of customers, from throwaway packaging to high end medical parts for MRIs. The company boasts a diverse customer base with a need for low to moderate volume, highly complex, high material mix custom plastic parts. Their dedicated workforce of 73 employees delivers total product solutions for many of the nation's largest and most successful companies. Nicolet Plastics is committed to being fast, fluid and flexible and has implemented Quick Response Manufacturing, allowing their customers to get projects to market faster. They are highly committed to the success of their employees and encourages a culture which promotes trust, positive attitudes, values and goals. Nicolet Plastics, Inc. is also wholly committed to their community. They currently are a supporter and champion of School-to-Work with Wabeno High School, giving students the opportunity to work in a highly technical, fast-paced, creative workplace environment.
North Wood Flooring, LLC
107 Business 141 North
Coleman, WI 54112-9450
Tom Bieberitz, President
52 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: Wisconsin Bank & Trust
WHO WE ARE: North Wood Flooring, LLC was established in 2005 and manufacturers unfinished strip and plank hardwood flooring utilizing up to 13 different northern species of hardwood. As revenues increased rapidly over the first two years North Wood Flooring increased their employee base from a start-up amount of 27 to 52 today which makes them Coleman's largest employer. North Wood's facility in Coleman is a 115,000 square foot building where 52 dedicated employees take pride in every board that comes off the line. North Wood Flooring's business plan is simple – manufacture the best possible product in the safest and most honest way possible. The company sells 400 different items and, despite the downturn in the housing market, they continue to add jobs. With an unwavering focus on delivering the highest quality flooring product possible, on time and at a reasonable cost, the future looks bright for North Wood Flooring.
OEM Fabricators, Inc.
300 McMillan Road
Woodville, WI 54028
S. Mark Tyler, President
497 Wisconsin Employees
Large and Workforce Development Categories
WHO WE ARE: OEM Fabricators, Inc., a leading contract manufacturer, is a Wisconsin success story in that their growth has been truly remarkable. In 1986 the company started with three team members in a 2,500 square foot pole shed. Today, OEM Fabricators has over 500 fulltime positions with sales exceeding $75 million. Customer and industry diversity has been a constant focus of OEM. Although they are known for large complex welded and machined components for heavy industry such as railroads, oil and gas, construction and mining equipment, OEM also excels in delivering value to manufacturers of medical devices, musical instruments, racing yachts and aircraft engines. OEM is continually exploring new ways to promote manufacturing opportunities and create effective partnerships to advance manufacturing in the region and in the state of Wisconsin. They have been instrumental in the development of Gold Collar Careers, a partnership between manufacturing businesses, technical colleges and universities in the west central and northwest regions of Wisconsin to increase awareness about the importance of advanced manufacturing and its excellent career opportunities. OEM has also maintained a Material Donation Program for regional high schools for more than a decade. The program is designed to support technical education programs by donating materials to help offset program costs.
Olson Fabrication, Inc.
1101 Perry Street
Algoma, WI 54201
Shawn Olson, President
25 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: Kewaunee County Economic Development Corporation
WHO WE ARE: Olson Fabrication in Algoma is a privately owned, full-service heavy steel fabricator and machining facility that employs 25 driven Wisconsinites. It is the goal of every Olson employee to surpass every customer's demands and expectations. Olson services customers in a wide array of industries such as marine, industrial, commercial, and construction. Olson works closely with their customers every step of the process to provide customer specific fabrication and machining, and they take pride that providing custom work allows them to be flexible and satisfy many different customers in various industries. Olson owner and operator, Shawn Olson, has donated funds to Algoma High School to have a tech center installed that will offer programs for high school students who aspire to become welders, fabricators, and machinists. Olson also opens their facility to students who are interested in learning by job shadowing employees to gain first-hand knowledge and experience of what exactly Olson Fabrication does.
PO Box 2566
Oshkosh, WI 54903
Charlie Szews, Chief Executive Officer
13100 Employees; 4500 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: Oshkosh Chamber of Commerce
WHO WE ARE: Besides being one of the largest manufacturers in the great state of Wisconsin, Oshkosh Corporation is a leading manufacturer and marketer of access equipment, specialty vehicles and truck bodies for the primary markets of defense, concrete placement, refuse hauling, access equipment, and fire and emergency. From ambush-protected all-terrain vehicles, to aircraft rescue and firefighting vehicles, Oshkosh products are recognized globally because their products truly make a difference. The corporation's mission is to "partner with customers to deliver superior solutions that safely and efficiently move people and materials at work, around the globe and around the clock." Technology and innovation are the lifeblood of Oshkosh Corporation. Their customers rely on their innovations to get the jobs done and to get them home safely. Oshkosh believes in being a good corporate citizen and developed the Oshkosh Corporation Foundation to strengthen and enrich the people and communities in regions where Oshkosh Corporation has operations. Giving back and helping others reach their fullest potential is a part of the Foundation tradition which started back in 1917 when Oshkosh Corporation was founded and still continues today.
Patriot Taxiway Industries
290 Pleasant Hill Avenue
Lomira, WI 53048
Steven A. Smits, President
14 Employees; 13 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: Dodge County Land Resources and Parks
WHO WE ARE: Patriot Taxiway Industries Incorporated, a Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business (SDVOSB), was founded in September 2007 here in the great state of Wisconsin. Several members of the 14 person Patriot team are active military reserve members and military veterans and the company is projecting growth through 2014. Due to their military background, Patriot Taxi Industries strives to conduct their business by the United States Air Force motto, "Integrity, service before self and excellence in all we do." Patriot Taxiway Industries designs, manufactures, tests and supports lighting systems in Lomira and serves three main markets with a multitude of lighting products; portable lighting, aircraft lighting, and airfield lighting. Patriot's mission is to deliver superior quality aerospace and military lighting products and services to their customers through leadership, innovation and partnerships. Patriot Taxiway Industries is currently growing sales in all their markets and in 2012 they received the Emerging Small Business (SBA) for the State of Wisconsin.
Pierce Manufacturing, Inc.
2600 American Drive
Appleton, WI 54912
Jim Johnson, President
2332 Employees; 1823 Wisconsin Employees
WHO WE ARE: Pierce Manufacturing, an Oshkosh Corporation [NYSE:OSK] company located in Appleton, proudly celebrated their 100th Anniversary in 2012. Pierce is the leading North American manufacturer of custom fire and rescue apparatus of all types, shapes and sizes, including custom and commercial pumpers, aerials, rescues, mini-pumpers, wildland trucks, elliptical tankers, and homeland security apparatus. Since the acquisition by Oshkosh Corporation in 1996, Pierce has grown to be the number one global manufacturer of fire and rescue apparatus. Pierce understands firefighting is not just a job, but also a passion and their employees work continuously to improve the company's operational performance and efficiency. Pierce fire trucks are a vital component of fire departments' emergency response capabilities, and the employees of Pierce are keenly aware of the importance of their work. The company has a long and proud history of creating and applying innovative technologies that help firefighters perform more effectively and safely. On average 12,000 firefighters visit Pierce facilities each year and become part of the "Pierce Experience", where employees throughout the company work hand-in-hand with customers to ensure they get the customized vehicles that will help them serve their communities, and ultimately save lives.
One Plexus Way
Neenah, WI 54957
Dean Foate, President and CEO
9000 Employees; 2300 Wisconsin Employees
WHO WE ARE: Plexus Corp., headquarted in Neenah, delivers optimized product realization solutions through a unique Product Realization Value Stream service model. This customer-focused services model seamlessly integrates innovative product conceptualization, design, commercialization, manufacturing, fulfillment and sustaining services to deliver comprehensive end-to-end solutions for customers in the America, European, and Asia-Pacific regions. Their 2,300 Wisconsin employees provide award-winning customer service to over 140 branded product companies in the networking/communications, healthcare/life sciences, industrial/commercial, and defense/security/aerospace markets. Within their Wisconsin-based manufacturing solution facilities, Plexus produces products for many industry leading, globally recognized organizations such as GE Healthcare, Acme Packet, Honeywell, the Coca-Cola Company, and DRS to name a just a few they are proud to call customers. Wisconsin is home to six Plexus locations including the corporate headquarters and they have begun the construction of a 450,000 square foot manufacturing facility also to be located in Neenah. The building of this facility in Neenah cements Plexus' commitment to manufacturing, the community, and the provision of Wisconsin jobs.
Power Test, Inc.
N60 W22700 Silver Spring Drive
Sussex, WI 53089
Alan D. Petelinsek, President
75 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: Associated Bank, N.A.
WHO WE ARE: Located in Sussex, Power Test, Inc. is a global leader in the design, manufacture and sale of dynamometers, heavy equipment testing systems and related data acquisition and control systems. For 36 years Power Test, Inc. has marketed products to manufacturers, rebuilding facilities and distributors in the mining, power generation, marine, trucking, construction and military markets in over 80 countries. They operate under the philosophy of "We Make It Better" in all that they do, and they strive to make great products that improve their customer's businesses. Power Test, Inc., along with many other manufacturing companies, has experienced significant challenges in hiring qualified people to fill machine shop positions. To help solve this problem for Power Test, Inc. as well as to provide a new model to the manufacturing industry, Power Test, Inc. created a new training division called Manufacturer's Resource Training (MRT) which involves training students, and not necessarily for Power Test's own benefit. Power Test, Inc. expects to hire one of the students per class with the remaining hired by other manufacturing companies.
Processed Metal Innovators, LLC
600 21st Avenue
Bloomer, WI 54724
Christopher Conard, President
120 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: Chippewa County Economic Development Corporation
WHO WE ARE: Processed Metal Innovators, LLC (PMI) is a growing metal manufacturing company located in Bloomer, Wisconsin. PMI is a fully integrated steel fabrication facility that utilizes mill direct materials to produce customer specified parts and doors through stamping, bending, welding and assembly processes. PMI offers steel blanking and slitting, metal stamping, laser cutting, turret/punch fabrication, robotic welding, assembly, and in addition, is a metal service center. Among the products they specialize in are sub-assembled parts for the appliance industry, home improvement industry, along with metal components for freezers, fire extinguishers, air compressors, generators, and office furniture. Investing in equipment, facilities and people has been the formula for growth and stability at PMI. The past 15 years have been impressive; in 1998 beginning with 6 employees, PMI has seen significant growth and now employs 120. The PMI facility started operations with 37,000 square feet and since has expanded to 100,000 square feet, with additional purchases of automated, high tech equipment. PMI is a premier manufacturing company committed to the growth and success of its customers, employees, and community by providing quality metal product solutions at unmatched value with exceptional service.
2709 Mondovi Road
Eau Claire, WI 54701
Timmothy Boettcher, President
55 Employees; 49 Wisconsin Employees
WHO WE ARE: Realityworks, Inc. in Eau Claire was established 18 years ago with the mission to better address teen pregnancy prevention, parenting skills, and to address child abuse and neglect through educational products. Throughout the last decade their unique company developed several other products and programs with the desire to create engaging experiential learning tools to help educators engage students while bettering the human condition. Realityworks is an experiential learning technology company whose award-winning programs provide students with realistic learning experiences and are used by educators in Career and Technical Education programs including Family and Consumer Science, Health, Maternal and Child Health, Agriculture, Welding, Automotive, as well as government and social service agencies worldwide. The life-changing, eye-opening, interactive technology makes it possible for people to have hands-on experience in potential careers and life situations. This experience helps them make more informed decisions and prepares them to be productive members of the workforce. Due to their products' unique ability to address and educate on teen pregnancy, parenting skills, and child abuse and neglect, they have had the privilege of being featured by numerous media outlets including: Dr. Phil, Good Morning America, and Project Runway, just to name a few!
Reed Switch Developments Corporation
2524 Norwood Court
Racine, WI 53403
Debra Berns, President and Owner
17 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: Wayne Raisleger Consulting
WHO WE ARE: Reed Switch Developments Corporation in Racine is a second generation, woman-owned and managed manufacturing company which engineers, designs and manufactures custom magnetic switches/sensors and actuators. After being founded in Connecticut in 1967 and relocated to Racine in 1987, Reed Switch was purchased by current CEO Debra Burns in 1999; shortly thereafter the company developed the "total solutions package" for their customers. That includes everything from engineering and development, just-in-time manufacturing, and inventorying programs all weaved into a high level of personalized service. Their products are used in a wide range of industries including agriculture, electronics, automated manufacturing systems, aviation, aerospace and green energy. Examples of their products include bathroom products, agriculture, energy (windmills), aerospace, and electronics among others. On October 5, 2012 Reed Switch celebrated their 45th year in business and hosted a National Manufacturing Day event as part of celebrating Manufacturing Month in October. Tours of the facilities were provided to all guests who included students from several Racine area high schools and individuals from other area manufacturers, customer such as Case IH, and vendors.
Res Manufacturing Company
7801 North 73rd Street
Milwaukee, WI 53223
Dr. John Ormerod, President
107 Wisconsin Employees
WHO WE ARE: Res Manufacturing Company was founded in 1907 in Milwaukee as a maker of window hardware carried by horse-drawn wagons to customers. Through the years, their products' evolution has changed dramatically. This is driven by associates that are champions of change, and today, Res Manufacturing is a leading manufacturer of stamped metal components and subassemblies for diversified industries such as agriculture, lawn and turf care, commercial lighting, electric vehicle, renewable energy, construction, off road and heavy truck and specialty niche automotive segments. In 2012, Res experienced strong sales growth while still maintaining the quality standards their customers expect. This growth did not deter the 107 dedicated employees from keeping a keen focus on continual improvement and lean manufacturing improvements. Their success has helped Wisconsin to succeed through hiring, intern development and local business support. Res is proud to be a strong business supporting manufacturing in Wisconsin and representing Wisconsin as a viable source for metal stampings and next level assemblies.
Robbins Manufacturing, Inc.
200 Steel Road
Fall River, WI 53932
Greg Robbins, Owner
297 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: Columbia County Economic Development Corporation
WHO WE ARE: Robbins Manufacturing, Inc., located in Fall River, Wisconsin, is a prominent leader in the metal fabrication and powder coating industries. A wide array of business entities rely on Robbins Manufacturing to provide quality, on-time delivery of military vehicles, mass transit seating, construction equipment, electrical, agricultural, food processing and industrial heat exchange componentry. The company was founded in 1989 by Greg and Jan Robbins in Columbus, Wisconsin, and boldly began operations with just four employees and three key pieces of state-of-the-art equipment. Today, Robbins Manufacturing employs 285 full-time employees operating on three shifts. On November 14, 2012, Robbins Manufacturing, Inc. was recognized as the Columbia County Large Manufacturer of the Year, at an award ceremony held in Columbus, Wisconsin. Record-breaking sales in the first quarter of 2012 led to increased hiring, directly boosting the local economy, and allowing Robbins Manufacturing to hire nearly 200 new employees.
201 West Grove Street
Adams, WI 53910-9472
Peter M. Murphy, General Manager
26000 Employees; 254 Wisconsin Employees
WHO WE ARE: Rock-Tenn, located in Adams, is one of North America's leading integrated manufacturers of corrugated and consumer packaging and recycling solutions. Rock-Tenn delivers low-cost, high-value paperboard, packaging and marketing solutions to a wide range of markets. Rock-Tenn has 26,000 employees and operates locations in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Chile, Argentina and China. The 254 hard-working employees in Rock-Tenn's Adams and Jackson facilities are committed to exceeding their customers' expectations – every time. In fact, as part of Rock-Tenn, Adams has been honored as Plant of the Year in both 2011 (after having been with Rock-Tenn for only four months) and 2012. Rock-Tenn is committed to being the most respected company in their industry which includes a commitment to their people, communities and customers – to provide responsibly sourced and safe products. Their legacy is to develop and retain the best talent in the industry, to operate the safest and lowest cost facilities and to support the communities where they work and live.
Saris Cycling Group
5253 Verona Road
Madison, WI 53711
Chris Fortune, President and Owner
168 Employees; 160 Wisconsin Employees
WHO WE ARE: In 1989, Chris and Sara Fortune purchased Graber, a family-owned bicycle rack company in Madison, Wisconsin that manufactured roof, trunk and hitch racks. Now known as Saris Cycling Group, they have continued to grow the company's success out of an old farm house and an adjoining manufacturing plant. CycleOps joined the family by acquisition in 1999, expanding Saris' product offerings by adding bicycle trainers. In 2001, PowerTap technology was purchased, which was a revolutionary product measuring power use in cycling, and CycleOps trainers and PowerTap products are now used by the world's top professional riders. Throughout all of the growth, Chris and Sara still own and run the company, and Saris still designs and builds their products – and staffs 160 Wisconsin employees – out of the old farm house and expanded production facility. Saris' loyalty to and support of Wisconsin is also exemplified by the fact they work almost exclusively with local suppliers, with 67% of their suppliers being located within three hours of Saris' facility. Saris has grown into an industry leader and distributes their products globally, to more than 50 countries worldwide.
Sign Effectz, Inc.
1827 Glendale Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53209
Adam Brown, President
16 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: Affinity Business Consultants, Inc
WHO WE ARE: Sign Effectz, Inc. is a custom sign manufacturer that blends creativity with technology to provide customers with the most visually effective and physically durable signage possible. At Sign Effectz, Inc., the 16 inventive Wisconsin employees are hard at work building the signs that build brands by combining creativity and technology. Their full service capabilities enable them to serve customers as a one-stop-shop to provide everything from design to fabrication, installation, and service and maintenance. Their knowledge of LED components and electronic message centers keep their customers' signage needs relevant and economical. It is Sign Effectz's aim to help make their customers brands more visible, increase sales, and attract more customers through the use of signs which have proven to be very powerful forces of advertising. Sign Effectz has developed a creative work environment where their employees enjoy working and can grow professionally, and as a result their employee retention rate is an astounding 90%!
6737 West Washington Street, Suite 360
West Allis, WI 53214
Kathy Weatherly, Chief Executive Officer
47 Employees; 46 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: BMO Harris Bank N.A.
WHO WE ARE: Solaris, Inc., located in West Allis, is a medical garment manufacturer that specializes in providing home solutions for Lymphedema, venous, and wound care management and treatment. Since Solaris' founding in 2000, the company has become the leader of the nighttime Lymphedema management industry and is quickly expanding their reach in the venous and wound care management markets as well. Throughout the past four years, Solaris has averaged over 30% annual growth and their team has expanded from 15 members in 2007 to over 45 current full-time employees. The focus at Solaris is customer service. That is the reason they are the only company in their industry to offer patients an exclusive Sure-Fit Warranty on every custom manufactured Tribute product. Solaris hosts focus groups on new and existing products as a means of adapting their products to meet market expectations. Information from these focus groups helped them redesign one of their existing product lines which increased sales by 300%! Solaris is proudly a recipient of the 2012 Inc. 500/5000 list of fastest growing private companies in America.
Stecker Machine Company, Inc.
5107 County Road C
Manitowoc, WI 54220
Joel Kaeppler, Vice President
150 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: Economic Development Corporation of Manitowoc County
WHO WE ARE: Stecker Machine Company, Inc. in Manitowoc was founded in 1973 by Gerald Stecker and his brother as a tool and die shop. Over time, it became apparent the high volume, low complexity, aluminum casting jobs that led to most of the growth prior to 2001 was susceptible to overseas competition and large volume swings from year to year. The strategy of the company shifted to training employees how to run more difficult and lower volume work made from various materials that are less subject to overseas competition and less reliant on the automotive industry. In 2011, the company further diversified its business to include companies that are producing transmissions using hybrid technology. Today, Stecker Machine Co., Inc. provides subcontract precision CNC machining on castings of various materials. The continued and anticipated growth resulted in the construction of another 81,000 square feet manufacturing plant which was completed early in 2012 to complement the existing facility. Stecker management understands that customer satisfaction is the driving factor in being a successful business. The philosophy at Stecker Machine is that this is best accomplished by establishing relationships with customers, suppliers, and employees that are built on trust and respect.
Steele Solutions Inc
9909 South 57th Street
Franklin, WI 53132
Mike Thelen, President
72 Employees; 70 Wisconsin Employees
WHO WE ARE: Steele Solutions was formed in 1996 by three longtime industry experts and has grown considerably since then, gaining clients in all 50 states and throughout the world. Located in Franklin, they are now one of the leading designers and manufacturers of steel mezzanines and platforms, catwalks and other steel structures for industrial, commercial, material handling and military use. Steel structures and mezzanines designed and built by Steele Solutions are used by nearly every major American retailer as well as prominent international shipping and distribution companies and government entities. Their structures also are widely used by a wide range of businesses — from small to large — in the material handling industries, warehousing and manufacturing. Steele Solutions' structures support the efficient operations of organizations such as WalMart, Kohl's Department Stores, Amazon, Zappos, Target, FedEx, UPS, the Armed Forces, Boeing, Northrop Grumman, ConAgra Foods, Johnson & Johnson, Proctor and Gamble and the U.S. Postal Service.
Super Steel LLC
7900 West Tower Avenue
Milwaukee, WI 53223
Dirk Smith, President and COO
400 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: WorkWise
WHO WE ARE: Once a company on the brink of closing their doors in 2010, Super Steel is now a multi-million dollar company with over 400 employees working out of a 420,000 square foot facility. Today, Super Steel is Milwaukee's industry leading contract manufacturer capable of providing a broad range of prototyping, manufacturing, production fabricating, coating and assembly services to a variety of markets including agricultural, construction, industrial, power generation and transportation. Along with process engineering and development services, Super Steel maintains an extensive manufacturing infrastructure capable of providing solutions to a diverse portfolio of customers. Since Super Steel does not make their own proprietary product, they know that manufacturing flexibility is a key. Super Steel is capable of manufacturing a very large agricultural implement right next to a small electrical control cabinet. Their company can satisfy customer requirements for complex turnkey products and can also fulfill customer orders for simple paint-only requests. Super Steel proudly views themselves as an extension of their customer's capabilities.
The C.A. Lawton Co.
1950 Enterprise Drive
De Pere, WI 54115
Alex Lawton, Chief Executive Officer
140 Employees; 139 Wisconsin Employees
WHO WE ARE: The C.A. Lawton Co. (Calco) is a fifth generation, family-owned business located in De Pere that started in 1879. They have been providing jobs and opportunities for suppliers 'in' and offering products and services 'from' Northeast Wisconsin for 133-years and counting. Calco manufactures large iron castings from 400 to 20,000 pounds and machined components for commercial and industrial markets. Calco is able to serve multiple markets, including the agriculture, oil and gas, off-highway, and mining industries. The company's sales growth is being fueled by worldwide demand for energy and mining equipment. Their castings, all produced in De Pere, are integral to equipment used for wind energy generation and oil and gas exploration, as well as in the mining equipment used to extract and process ores. As a result of their long history of providing service to, and engineering for, the paper industry, Calco continues to produce replacement gears and pulleys for that market. As part of their efforts to educate students on the benefits and necessities of manufacturing in our world, and the career opportunities associated within manufacturing, Calco has a strong partnership with the area technical colleges, four-year colleges, and high schools, and are members of area chambers of commerce, the Manufacturers' Alliance, and Second Chance Partners for Education.
Velocity Machine, Inc.
817 Marquis Way
Green Bay, WI 54304
Kevin Fredrick, President
80 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: Consolidated Construction Company
WHO WE ARE: Since 1999 Velocity Machine, Inc. has been providing machining, fabricating, mechanical assembly and packaging solutions to OEM clients. Velocity has experienced incredible growth since first leasing a 6,000 square foot facility in Bellevue to purchasing their 44,000 square foot facility in De Pere. They currently serve many different types of industry with their largest customers only making up 15% of their total revenue, highlighting that diversity is clearly one of their strengths. Velocity Machine currently serves customers in the gas and oil, energy, agriculture, construction, defense, chemical, and automotive markets, to name a few. The management philosophy of Velocity Machine is "support the growth of the business and the area workforce by supporting efforts to educate and train current and new workforce personnel." In keeping with that philosophy the staff has conducted tours for high school students and career counselors to help communicate the new manufacturing industry opportunities and have developed a career map to help educators, parents, and students better understand the link between various manufacturing career paths. Velocity Machine's Vice President of Operations also serves on the local high school technical skills programs development board and the Partners in Education board.
The Vollrath Company, LLC
1236 North 18th Street
Sheboygan, WI 53081
Paul Bartelt, Chief Executive Officer
1266 Employees; 1135 Wisconsin Employees
WHO WE ARE: The Vollrath Company is a market-leading and fast-growing manufacturer and supplier of innovative equipment and supplies to the commercial foodservice industry. Headquartered in Sheboygan, Vollrath is one of the most recognized brands in their respective markets, providing the world's best restaurants and chains with premium quality smallware products. Vollrath has been long committed to helping their customers outperform in their efforts every day by striving to, as their tagline states, "Set the Standard" for their industry, not only in the products they provide, but also in every interaction they have with their customers and suppliers. In everything they do, Vollrath strives to ensure that the well-being of their employees and communities is being maintained. They developed two in-house clinics to provide cost-effective medical support to their employees and their families and they have a scholarship program for the children of their employees. Vollrath awards three scholarships every year that can be used for post-high school education. Vollrath has found a way to balance the needs of the needs of the customer, their employees, and the business to provide a solid foundation for continued success in their industry and community.
Walker Forge, Inc.
250 Spring Street
Clintonville, WI 54929
Willard T. Walker, Chief Executive Officer
564 Employees; 404 Wisconsin Employees
Nominated by: City of Clintonville
WHO WE ARE: Throughout their 60 years as a premier, full-service, closed-die forging company, Walker Forge in Clintonville has given their customers consistent, long-lasting forging solutions in medium to high-volume applications. The parts Walker Forge makes play vital roles inside all sorts of heavy machinery. The company reinvested in growth more than ever in 2012, and results indicate this aggressive reinvestment is succeeding, as this year's revenue is projected to increase nearly 20% – and that is over last year's revenue, which exceeded the company's previous best sales year by 55%. The past three years have seen significant workforce growth to match the rapid revenue acceleration, growing from 217 employees to over 564 in that short time span. Through this growth period, Walker Forge has maintained an impressive customer retention rate of 100%. Some of their biggest gains have come from longtime customers in energy, heavy truck and other markets. While the longevity of Walker Forge's customers speaks for itself – over a dozen relationships date back over 50 years – the company's commitment to quality work, all the time, is what keeps these customers like John Deere and Caterpillar coming back.
Weldall Mfg., Inc.
2001 South Prairie Avenue
Waukesha, WI 53189
Dave Bahl, Sr., President and CEA
275 Wisconsin Employees
Medium and Workforce Development Categories
WHO WE ARE: Weldall Mfg., Inc. is a full-service metal fabrication and metal processing manufacturer that serves a variety of industries such as municipal and government contract requirements, construction equipment, material handling, power generation, mining, nuclear, rail, wind, and medical. Weldall grew from humble beginnings in a Quonset hut with five employees in 1974. The company's growth required numerous expansions over the decades, ultimately landing at the current location of 220,000 square feet with 275 employees. Weldall has more than doubled their work force in the past two years! As it has become increasingly challenging to find skilled workers, Weldall continues to add new ways of recruitment, hiring, and training. As a part of Weldall's most recent plant expansion, they included a 600 square foot training room that is split into a classroom and a hands-on welding area. They train six to eight students during each 12-week on-the-job-training session and each group is recruited from a different source in order to continue recognizing the talent pool of a variety of organizations. Through Weldall's ongoing relationships with area high schools, they have two to four co-op students working at all times and nearly half have become long-term Weldall employees.
2645 Industrial Parkway South
Marinette, WI 54143
Trisha Dickinson Lemery, President and CEO
204 Employees; 202 Wisconsin Employees
WHO WE ARE: Winsert, Inc. in Marinette is a leading global provider of innovative alloy solutions for critical components across a wide array of industries. They provide expertise in alloy development to solve high temperature wear or corrosive wear problems in difficult applications such as heavy-duty and high performance engines, as well as components for food and beverage, forestry, chemical processing and other industrial applications. Cross-trained production teams have allowed Winsert the ability to meet the ever-changing demands of their customers, from constantly changing delivery dates to increased order quantities. Winsert's 202 tenacious employees are continuously focusing on several key items that have led to their significant growth – product diversification in the global marketplace, crossed-trained production teams, an aggressive partnership-based sales approach, and an unwavering commitment to company values. They strive to make a positive impact not only in the industries they serve, but also in and around the neighboring communities. On a global scale, Weldall is known as an innovative alloy solutions provider to solve high-wear temperature and/or corrosion problems, but at home, they are known as a family of employees and a company who goes the extra mile to help their communities through charitable giving and sponsorships.
Wisconsin Plastics, Inc.
3155 Commodity Lane
Green Bay, WI 54307
Jim Christensen, President
245 Wisconsin Employees
Medium and Workforce Development Categories
Nominated by: Leonard & Finco Public Relations, Inc.
WHO WE ARE: Wisconsin Plastics, Inc. in Green Bay is an organization of independent companies that provides ideas, innovation, and custom-manufactured products to customers around the world. As a family‐based business founded in 1972, Wisconsin Plastics, Inc. (WPI), comprises five business units: Modern Design & Development, Modern Display & Exhibits, Modern Plastics, Modern Stamping & Painting and Valley Plating & Fabricating. These firms can provide standalone services or a complete one-stop shop to help a company successfully design, manufacture and launch a product. They have expertise in design, development, manufacturing and assembly, storage and distribution capabilities. In addition, WPI offers value-added services integrated from start to finish, resulting in better communication, lower costs and shorter lead‐times for clients such as Georgia Pacific, Joy Global, and KI. WPI participates in the Second Chance Partners for Education program which allows WPI to work with local high school students and provide them with the connections of classroom lessons and what they are doing every day on the job. This partnership helps students reach graduation and enter the full time job market with skills and a diploma already in-hand.
Xten Industries LLC
9600 55th Street
Kenosha, WI 53144
Matthew Davidson, Chief Executive Officer
190 Employees; 106 Wisconsin Employees
WHO WE ARE: Unlike many plastic injection molding companies, Xten Industries in Kenosha doesn't just make parts. Making parts, no matter how well or how economically, can never generate the magnitude of value possible when customer and vendor work together in true partnership. When invited by a customer to work in partnership, Xten delivers a unique form of going-to-market support they call Multifacturing™. Multifacturing involves Xten's 106 Wisconsin professionals at the earliest stages of tooling and production through the shipping of finished product. By assuming responsibility for as many steps in the production and distribution process as customers will outsource, Multifacturing can significantly reduce net production costs and increase the customer's ROI. Xten is skilled at producing, purchasing and assembling a broad array of completed products for customers in many industries, including: paper towels, cup, napkin dispensers, medical waste containers, hot and cold beverage containers, security cameras, electrical junction boxes and many more. Xten is also able to produce large, complex parts requiring machines sizes up to 2,000 tons. Besides finding unique ways to provide incremental value to customers, Xten is also devoted to reducing its impact on the environment. Continual, cross-company efforts over the last four years have resulted in a reduction in annual energy usage averaging 32%.