Best Place to Work Plastics Industry 2015 – CMD Corporation

APPLETON, WI; February 17, 2015 – Machinery manufacturer CMD Corporation was recently named one of the Best Places to work in the Plastics Industry by the international trade publication, Plastics News, and Best Companies Group.

The Best Places to Work program was designed to identify and honor the best employers in the plastics industry; those benefiting the economy, workforce, and businesses in the United States and Canada.  Ten companies were chosen; CMD ranked 7th on the list.

“We are extremely proud of this honor,” says Steve Sakai, CMD President.   “We have been working hard to advance a customer-focused, innovative culture at CMD for over 5 years, and this award shows that we have made meaningful progress. We are truly grateful for the hard work and dedication of our 165 talented employees.”

Click here to read more.

Basic Management Concepts

The Most Difficult Job – In BizTimes by Dennis Ellmaurer

I recently started working with the CEO of a small family business. His wife, six children and granddaughter worked in the business.
On the outside, it looked like a successful business enterprise. On the inside, there was chaos, dissension, fear and mutual unhappiness. The CEO didn’t know what to do about the family’s business problems. But he knew the conflict posed a risk to the continued success of the business and also threatened his family.  

I am sure anyone who has been around family businesses can share their own war stories, from family members with management titles based on nepotism rather than merit to family members who no longer speak to each other after the breakup of the family business.

If we start with the assumption that all family businesses are dysfunctional, how might the CEO of a family business mitigate the dysfunctionality?


To read more on BizTimes click here.

Congratulations to the Bartolotta Restaurant Group!


The Milwaukee-based company will only continue to feed more mouths. Earlier this year, the company announced that it will open three restaurants at the Mayfair Collection development in Wauwatosa by next fall. In addition, Bartolotta Restaurant Group opened two new restaurants this year: Miss Beverly’s Deluxe Barbecue in Greendale and Downtown Kitchen at the U.S. Bank Center in downtown Milwaukee.

While Miss Beverly’s serves up a menu of Bartolotta’s own take on barbecue, Downtown Kitchen has what the company calls a “modern market” flair.

For its rapid growth, the restaurant group has been named the BizTimes Best in Business Small Business of the Year for 2014.

As the company continues to expand, in both venues and employees, it is evolving beyond a small business, Bartolotta said.

“As our company grows, we’re transitioning from a small business to a medium-sized business now,” he said. “For years we were a smaller business, and in the last four years we’ve seen a lot of growth. We’re in this really unique place where we’re too big of a company to be a small company anymore, and yet we’re too small of a company to be a big company.”

Bartolotta said the restaurant group has its sights set on continuing its growth and continuing to cultivate its team in the process. The company, which currently has 11 restaurants in addition to catering operations, has close to 1,000 employees – 1,100 in the summer – and anticipates swelling by another 250 staffers with the Mayfair Collection restaurants.


To read more on the BizTimes website click here.

The CEO Speaks Through A Megaphone – BizTimes Article by John Howman

We were about to lay off 20 percent of the team. We were losing money. I was close to being clinically depressed. While she never admitted it, I am quite sure my wife, Laura, was about ready to get rid of me as well.

Suffice to say, 1996 was not my best year. I really did think I was holding up pretty well. I made it to work every day. Then I went straight to my office, shut my door, and effectively shut out my team. I either blew off our meetings, or I attended them but was disengaged.

Then one day, my TEC chair, Jutta Parsons (one of best TEC chairs of all time), came in for our 1-2-1. The first words out of her mouth were, “John, what the hell is the matter with you? You’re destroying the culture in your own company. Don’t you realize the CEO speaks through a megaphone?” (Jutta was never known for beating around the bush.)

“What does that mean?” I asked.

“John, the minute you drive into the parking lot, you are ON STAGE. People are watching your body language, the words you use, even how you walk. Right now, when things are down, 80 percent of your job is about showing up. And not just walking in and closing your door. But showing up with a positive attitude and a vision for the future. If you can’t do that, you’re better off staying home!”

Click here to read more at BizTimes 


Love of Sailing Steered Harken CEO to Port – Bill Goggins

When Bill Goggins thinks about his role as chief executive officer for Pewaukee-based yacht equipment manufacturer Harken Inc., he firmly believes that his position with the company has a lot to do with dumb luck.

But he also acknowledges that it was his concerted effort to tie together his passion around competitive sailing with his work that ultimately landed him the job.

“Harken was on every kind of boat that I was ever on when I was growing up,” Goggins said.

He received his bachelor’s degree in marketing and communications and his master’s degree in business from Marquette University in Milwaukee. When he started shopping for his dream job in 1999, he was working for an advertising agency.

“Being a very passionate sailor and tying in my marketing experience, I literally walked into my office and typed in just to see if there were any openings and there was a vague, poorly written job description for a marketing position,” Goggins said.
Picking up the telephone, he called Harken, had an interview with company founders Peter Harken and Olaf Harken the next day and got the job, which tied in the sport that he loves with brand management.

Peter Harken hired Goggins to help his brother, Olaf Harken, in the marketing department because Goggins was full of energy. His advertising agency experience made him a perfect fit.

“He just kept proving himself,” Peter Harken said. “He knows the product and is a very good sailor.”
In 2008, Goggins became the company’s CEO. Then the recession hit and Harken Inc.’s order book was decimated. In three days, the company lost about 60 percent of its business.


Click here to read more from the Milwaukee Business Journal

Busch Precision Inc. in BizTimes

Milwaukee-based Busch Precision recently acquired certain assets, including two lines of business, from West Allis-based Maintenance Service Corp.

As a result, Busch has expanded its capabilities through a new Maintenance Service division, which offers machine tool service and repair and CNC retrofitting.

The transaction brought a new client base and 11 employees with new expertise to Busch, which now has 48 employees. They fit easily into Busch’s existing 140,000-square-foot facility at 8200 N. Faulkner Road in Milwaukee.

The new maintenance capabilities complement Busch’s existing machine repair, precision machining, metalworking machinery maintenance and contract manufacturing offerings, said Michael Mallwitz, president and chief executive officer. The company specializes in unique specifications, critical tolerance parts and large components.
Busch and MSC’s culture and talent also fit well together, he said.

BizTimes Coffee Break with Scott Gierhahn

BizTimes has a coffee break with TEC member Scott Gierhahn.

What was the smartest thing Schroeder Solutions did in the past year? 
“We hired Tyler Smith as our new vice president of operations this past year. His level of professionalism and enthusiasm make him a great addition to our team. His expertise and leadership will guide us toward operational excellence.”
What’s new at your company? 
“We are in the process of renovating our showroom, our Learning Center, in order to continue to service our clients by showing them the latest and greatest in design concepts and products for today’s workplace environments.”
Do you plan to hire any additional staff or make any significant capital investments in your company in the next year? 
“Yes and yes. We are always looking for positive additions to our team and will be adding a key leadership position within our organization. As for significant capital improvements, we are investing in our showroom as well as upgrading software, servers and our operational system. We are also creating a portal for clients in order to better communicate project progress and details.”

Milwaukee Top Workplaces 2014 – Journal Sentinel

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has recognized 150 Companies and Organizations in Milwaukee as Top Workplaces 2014. These companies have been recognized as Top Workplaces based solely on surveys about the workplace completed by their employees. Click here to continue reading on JSonline.

Congrats to the following TEC member companies for being recognized as the Top Workplaces 2014:

  • Anguil Environmental Systems, Inc.
  • Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP
  • Batzner Pet Management, Inc 
  • Charter Manufacturing Company, Inc.
  • Edgerton Contractors, Inc.
  • Environmental Systems Inc.
  • HUSCO International, Inc.
  • InPro Corporation 
  • J.P. Cullen & Sons, Inc.
  • Marsh Electronics., Inc.
  • Metal-Era, Inc.
  • Miniature Precision Components, Inc. (MPC, Inc.)
  • Sendik’s Food Markets 
  • Total Mechanical 
  • United Heartland 
  • Von Briesen & Roper S. C.
  • Wipfli LLP
  • WorkWise, LLC


TEC Congratulates our Inspirational Leader of the Year Award Honorees!

TEC Midwest announced the winners of its 2014 Inspirational Leadership Awards.

The TEC Wisconsin Award will go to Dennis Konkol, president of Miniature Precision Components Inc. of Walworth. MPC is approaching annual sales of $300 million with 1,600 employees and is continuing to expand. MPC is a Tier One supplier of automotive products to the major automotive manufacturers.

The 2014 TEC Michigan Award will go to Kevin Dent, CEO of Dentco (Dent Enterprises), based in DeWitt, Mich. Dentco has grown to annual sales of more than $30 million.

The 2014 TEC for Small Companies Award will go to Donna Gehl, president of Image Studios Inc. of Appleton.

The 2014 TEC Rising Star Award will go to John W. Mellowes, CEO of Charter Manufacturing Company Inc. of Mequon. Mellowes is the fourth generation of his family to lead Charter Manufacturing.

The 2014 TEC Lifetime Achievement Award will go to Jim Wessing, president of Kondex Corp. of Lomira. Wessing is proponent of the concept of servant leadership.

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