ACCELERATE WAUKESHA COUNTY April 2022 HOW COMPETITIVE IS WISCONSIN? Students Learn About Future Careers While Helping Community Building a Foundation for Employee Retention MORE INSIDE...
CLOSE TO HOME CLOSE-KNIT CAMPUS COMMUNITY AFFORDABLE TUITION Learn more about UWM at Waukesha: UWM.EDU/WAUKESHA
APRIL 2022 MAGAZINE SUZANNE KELLEY President & CEO Waukesha County Business Alliance, Inc. Spring in Wisconsin means the weather is getting warmer (we hope!) and before we know it our local parks will be full, outdoor dining at restaurants will be busy, and recreational activities like boating, biking, swimming and hiking will be in full force. Those of us that live in Wisconsin year round truly appreciate the start of a new season and all that our state has to offer. However, as we continue to fight in the war for talent it is imperative that we strive to become a destination state beyond our four seasons. I challenge you to take a step back and look at Wisconsin. How truly competitive are we? What do we do well and where do we need to improve? What are other states around the country doing to drive economic growth? The Alliance has long been proud to serve as the voice of business in Waukesha County and beyond, keeping our more than 1,200 members informed about important issues and areas of opportunity. We will continue to ask the hard questions and challenge our county, region and state to be a premier place to live, work and play. SPRING IN WISCONSIN vonbriesen.com/tax von Briesen’s team of experienced tax lawyers, many of whom have advanced designations, help businesses and individuals navigate the increasingly complex tax laws. The bottom line? We get results. To learn more about our Tax Law Section and the services we offer, please contact Robert Mathers, Tax Section Chair, at email@example.com. Tax Lawyers for Taxing Times. von Briesen’s Waukesha and Milwaukee Tax Attorneys Robert A.Mathers, J.D., CPA, SectionChair NancyM. Bonniwell, J.D. Thomas A. Myers, J.D. Terri S. Boxer, J.D. Randy S. Nelson, J.D., CPA Robert E. Dallman, J.D., LL.M. Thomas J. Kammerait, J.D., CPA Smitha Chintamaneni, J.D. Thomas P. Guszkowski, J.D., LL.M. Sumeeta Krishnaney, J.D., MBA Thomas J. Phillips, J.D., LL.M. John A. Sikora, J.D. StevenM. Szymanski, J.D., MBA Robert B. Teuber, J.D. Peter J. Walsh, J.D., LL.M. Daniel S. Welytok, J.D., LL.M. Curtis C. Walther, J.D. David J. Roettgers, J.D., CPA Courtney A. Hollander, J.D., LL.M. 3
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ON THE COVER... 6 Students Learn About Future Careers While Helping Community 10 Building a Foundation for Employee Retention 8 SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESS L.H. Krueger and Son, Inc. 12 Time With 'Littles' Has Big Community Impact 14 Business Growth Strategy for Waukesha County 20 Driven By a Mission to 'Believe in Better' 22 SPOTLIGHT ON THE TRADES Ruekert & Mielke, Inc. 25 EXECUTIVE PROFILE Gus D. Hernandez, Commercial Banking Market Leader, Associated Bank 26 Around the County 27 Welcome New Members 510 S. WEST AVE | WAUKESHA , WI 53186 | 262 . 522 . 2600 | DELZER . COM DESIGN FULFILL PRINT CONTENTS 18 COVER STORY How Competitive is Wisconsin?
WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG Coupled with concern for emerging needs from the pandemic's impact and the desire to expand programming while leveraging the expertise of the Swallow community in career planning, a redesigned guidance program for 4K-8th grade was implemented this year. In May 2021, the Swallow School Board approved program changes with a unique focus and delivery model designed to go beyond traditional guidance programming to help students develop their personal readiness for future pursuits while trying their hand in areas via service learning projects. Alongside elementary grade level teachers, a counselor plans relevant social and emotional units of study and exploration of academic and career planning rooted in crosscurricular lessons tied to units already taught within each grade level. This also includes an annual service learning project at each grade level. Middle school students now have a trimester of guidance class each year and on each early release day take a deep-dive into one of the 16 career clusters, which then culminates in a service learning project for the school community. During its inaugural year, students are focusing on the first half of the career clusters, with the second half being studied next year. So far this year, students have learned about food, agriculture, and natural resources; arts, marketing, and AV/technology; business management and administration; architecture and construction; and education and training. Resulting service learning projects include the creation of a digital Veterans Day tribute, creating and donating more than 400 items to the Ronald McDonald House for Giving Tuesday, how-to videos for younger Swallow students, and beginning plans to improve landscaping on the school grounds. “Our parents and the entire Swallow community have responded enthusiastically to help us launch the career component of the guidance program with everyone from doctors to firefighters and heads of non-profit organizations stepping in to share about their unique career pathway and the nuances of their job. Our staff gave our Guidance Counselor a standing ovation last year when this idea was STUDENTS LEARN ABOUT FUTURE CAREERS WHILE HELPING COMMUNITY MELISSA THOMPSON Superintendent, School District of Swallow Students redesign school layout with PRA’s Architect & Partner Nick Kent. (December 2021) 6
proposed at a staff meeting. It has been a pleasure to see our students play a role by leading a part of the morning kick-off to each guest speaking engagement,” commented Swallow Superintendent Melissa Thompson. Previews and summaries of each career cluster day are also shared with parents. Students feel very positively about the change to not just learn the basics about careers, but from those in the field. “There have been so many guest speakers--this gives perspective on the actual day-day from someone who does the job and knows the ins and outs of what it is really like” explained student Cade Hoxie. Cal Michaelis especially connected with the January focus as former professional athletes and coaches joined IT and K-12 professionals to talk about education and training. “Interacting with each other and the guest speakers makes it easier to learn by doing--not just listening. The information is related to our current life and realistic future scenarios, which help us make connections to job market needs and skills within sub-fields. This has opened my eyes to a bigger spectrum of jobs and made me realize I could pursue something different than I expected as a career.” Jake Downing added, “The days are very educational because you have kids who want to be superstar athletes, but since the chances of becoming one are slim, this can help to see other related jobs that are in demand which you may more realistically achieve. In October, we learned about project management and planning. While this may be a career field for some, there are other jobs that you need this skill for too. For instance, a doctor has to plan patient appointments as would an athlete or coach.” Life and career skills have also been learned. Students complete a reflection after each guest speaker day and have shared sentiments including: I have learned it’s OK to move on from a career choice--nearly all of the guest speakers have changed jobs and many have changed careers. Hearing that they began in one field and moved on helps me know that there is a job for everyone and that as life and interests change, so can a job or career. Guidance Counselor Jackie Hagenow’s role is expansive and includes teaching guidance classes for 4K-8th grade as well as 1:1 and small group support asneeded for students. Rachel Zamborini feels that, “Guidance class not just helps us to know ourselves, but also helps us to become better future leaders. As a leader, you need to be more aware of others and their feelings to build trust as well as manage yourself.”Cal Michaelis added, “We focus in class on our emotions to help us become more productive members of society as we learn how to be better people and interact better with others than before. As a future leader and teammate you need to consider what someone else may be feeling.” Are you, or someone you know, able to share about your career field and be a guest speaker? Are you a business owner with a service learning project in mind that could involve Swallow students? Please contact Superintendent Melissa Thompson at firstname.lastname@example.org. • Students learn about stormwater management from Tall Pines Conservatory Director of Land Protection and Stewardship Chris Gutschenritter. (September 2021)
Q: Describe your business. A: L.H. Krueger and Son is a second-generation owned contractor, providing residential exterior services for new and existing homes. Q: How was the idea for the business born? A: In 1980 my father was working for a small roofing company that had dwindled to almost nothing. He left, and came back several months later to buy the business because he thought he could run it better. Q: What sets your company apart? A: Honesty and integrity drive our decision making, and we believe in treating our team and our customers with respect. Q: What are your biggest challenges as a small business? A: As a small business, we aren’t well insulated against change. Any change in customer demand, costs, labor, or product availability has an immediate impact. We need to be ready and able to quickly change our plan and our processes. Q: What have been your biggest successes? A: We are honored to have repeat, long-term customers. We have many houses we’ve installed two roofs on - the original when it was built, and years later, the replacement roof. We also continue to work with builders who were some of our first customers back in 1980. Q: What has been the most surprising part of running a small business? A: If you have kids, you understand that while they can drain your energy like nobody’s business, they also fill your heart in a way nothing else can. Running a small business is the same experience, but with dozens of kids. Q: What is something you know now that you wish you would have known when you started? A: Don’t take it personally. L.H. KRUEGER AND SON, INC. LEAH BITAR CEO, L.H. Krueger and Son, Inc. WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG 8 SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESS
Mount Mary’s newly redesigned program offers flexibility in earning stackable certificates or your whole MBA. 2021-22 CERTIFICATE TOPICS: • Diversity, Equity and Inclusion • Small Business Management • Leadership and Organizational Behavior • Managing Talent and Organizational Culture LEARN MORE: mtmary.edu/MBA Q: What is your favorite part about being a small business owner? A: Being able to witness my team's individual successes. Watching them set earnings goals for the year, and exceed them. Watching them buy their first house. Watching them start as an inexperienced laborer and work their way up to leadman. It’s incredibly rewarding. •
CentroMotion provides a wide range of motion, actuation and control solutions that help build, move and feed the world. You probably see our products every day. Throughout our global locations, products we manufacture are used in diverse industries, by some of the world’s largest equipment manufacturers in the areas of agriculture, transportation, construction, specialty equipment, health care, and fire and rescue. Less than three years ago, CentroMotion became a stand-alone company and we continue to build a strong foundation to ensure our employees develop professionally and personally based on their skills and interests. Talent Development Culture CentroMotion works to develop talent programs to best facilitate employees moving and growing within the company. Our goal is to personalize our approach to talent development, clearly understanding our employees’ interests and educational goals, and how they want to contribute. Our succession planning then guides long-term planning for leadership roles. We have found theWaukesha County Business Alliance to be a great partner in leadership development. So far, a number of our employees have participated in the Alliance's LeadershipWaukesha County program, finding it a valuable tool in developing and enhancing leadership skills. Participant Scott Zangl described it as a valuable experience, covering topics pertinent to leadership roles, and especially liked the small groups. “The use of small groups with peers in similar situations was great,” states Scott. “I will continue to use the tools I learned to be a better leader.” Another participant, Dave Allar, had a very positive overall impression of the program. “Through the ‘Core Mining’ session, I gained a better understanding of my values and why I should make significant decisions based on those values,” he said. “The ‘Journey Line’ session also helped me understand the value of setting personal goals, BUILDING A FOUNDATION FOR EMPLOYEE RETENTION KRISTINE NIEHUS Senior HR Director, CentroMotion 10 WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG
acknowledging there will be ups and downs along the way, and the importance of working through them as you travel your career path.” In addition to programs such as LeadershipWaukesha County, CentroMotion has taken initial steps toward a fullfledged competency and training program. Starting with global training programs for our sales teams, we are actively studying where we have opportunities for skill development within our teams. We plan to expand these programs to further invest in our employees’ development. Employee Review Process Our annual review process is designed to be accessible and adaptable. Our Human Resources Information System (HRIS) allows employees to make regular updates to their goals as achievements occur and priorities shift throughout the year. Based on their interests as well as company priorities, employees are encouraged to have performance and development goals that focus on continuous growth. Additionally, leaders are urged to have regular meetings with employees to discuss what’s going well, potential improvements and how they can be a better leader for each employee. Work-Life Balance As a recently established organization, we have the unique opportunity to adapt our culture as we grow, paying close attention to our employees’ needs. For example, some of our departments have the flexibility to adapt a hybrid work environment. Employees might work some days at home rather than working daily in the office. We’ve also learned certain positions can be fully remote, which allows us to cast a wider net for talent during the hiring process. CentroMotion views employee retention as an investment and will continue to expand our training programs as we grow. Our employees are our greatest asset, and they are critical for our future growth! Learn more about us at www.centromotion.com. • Do you know the true cost of just one $5,000worker’s compensation claim? For the average company it will take an additional $250,000 in sales to cover the premium increase from just one $5,000 worker’s compensation claim. At R&R Insurance, we’ll help you lower insurance premiums and gain control of your claims. From determining the impact of your claims with ModMasterTM, developing return- to-work programs, and providing employee education and training that helps create a safety culture, we find solutions to save you money. MyKnowledgeBroker.com we know.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee is a volunteer based oneon-one youth mentoring program serving Milwaukee andWaukesha counties. Big Brothers Big Sisters has been supporting local youth since 1975 and nationally since 1904. Our mission is to create and support one-to-one mentoring relationships that ignite the power and promise of youth. This is achieved by matching volunteer “Bigs”with youth “Littles” to create long-lasting and strong mentoring relationships. The Bigs hold themselves accountable for each child in the program achieving educational success, avoidance of risky behaviors, higher aspirations, greater confidence, and better relationships. Big Brothers Big Sisters offers three unique mentoring options to cater to volunteers’ schedules and availability: Community-Based Bigs and Littles have 2-4 outings/ activities per month and maintain weekly communication. Match outings are flexible and easy to plan. Activities can include playing sports, going over schoolwork, visiting a museum, volunteering together, or just spending quality time together. BBBS also offers several free and planned activities monthly for matches to attend. mentor2.0 This high school mentoring program meets weekly online and monthly at the mentee’s school. This program intends to help high school students stay on the path to graduate high school, go to college, or find an apprenticeship in a trade of their choice. This is a great option for working professionals with limited spare time. School-Based Bigs and Littles meet weekly during the day at the child’s school. Together, they play games, work on homework, or participate in planned activities facilitated by BBBS staff. As many of the school locations are close to college partners, this is a great opportunity for college students to gain experience as Bigs. Being a volunteer mentor at Big Brothers Big Sisters is a great opportunity to give back to your community, have access to a network of other mentors, and have an overall rewarding experience. Big Brothers Big Sisters is always in need of more volunteers, especially men, to match with the youth waiting for a mentor. If you are interested in getting more engaged in your community, consider becoming a mentor to a child in need. Visit bbbsmilwaukee.org/volunteer to learn more and get started today! • TIME WITH 'LITTLES' HAS BIG COMMUNITY IMPACT CECELIA MURPHY Volunteer Recruitment Coordinator, Big Brothers Big Sisters of Metro Milwaukee Pictured: Alyssa (Big) and Jonaya (Little) "I became a Big because I love working with kids and I wanted to make a meaningful impact on the community. BBBS was a natural fit and I knew that my little best friend was waiting for me." - Alyssa
Pictured: Anton (Big) and Esayas (Little) "I enjoy giving back to the youth and helping others reach their potential. As a kid myself, there were other adults that gave me the guidance and support to overcome life's ups and downs. Seeing my Little mature and grow is such a natural high you can’t experience until you see it and live it." - Anton APRIL 2022 MAGAZINE 13 When I think about the character of individuals at First Business Bank, what comes to mind is — do the right thing and be a good person. There’s a feeling here that you don’t need layers of bureaucracy, policies, and procedures to make that happen. We just try to keep it simple, keep our word, and do what’s right. Those are classic midwestern values you can really count on. KEVIN KANE President - Milwaukee Region First Business Bank firstbusiness.bank/mke Member FDIC HONORING RELATIONSHIPS
WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG TheWaukesha County Center for Growth (WCCG) has refreshed and enhanced an economic development strategic plan, called the Business Growth Strategy, which will position the County for future growth and success. The purpose of the plan is to provide a roadmap and structure for initiatives necessary to foster sustainable economic vitality. This planning process, undertaken during a global health crisis and pandemic, reaffirmed the strength of the original plan and the continued need to stay on course. Our commitment to execute a solid, well-defined economic development strategy is more critical now than ever. As any good strategic plan is developed, statistics and data are a key part of the equation. Assessing reports like the Waukesha County by the Numbers conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison Extension and the 2021 Waukesha County Business Survey, we were able to identify areas of promising opportunities as well as some significant challenges: • Many Waukesha County businesses have emerged from the pandemic in a strong fiscal condition and are planning for continued growth, hiring and capital investment. Targeted outreach by WCCG staff to area employers will inform our efforts to retain and expand their operations here. • Sectors such as advanced manufacturing, construction, health care and professional services are driver industries for our county and region. Although several large national and multi-national companies are based here, the numerous middle market and second stage companies represent a particular growth opportunity for Waukesha County. WCCG and its Small Business Development Center consultants are well-positioned to assist these enterprises. • Our county’s greatest challenge remains the labor shortage and the continued trend of an aging population with low population growth. This means we must continue to develop and retain the current workforce as well as employ new strategies to attract PATTI KNEISER Board Chair, Waukesha County Center for Growth, Vice President Employer Services, Froedtert Health 14
APRIL 2022 MAGAZINE 15 more people to our region and state. WCCG is committed to working with our local communities to position Waukesha County as a desirable and inclusive place to live, work and play. In collaboration with our regional and state partners, we also will continue to explore solutions to barriers around childcare, housing, training, transportation and more. • With a median price of $338,000 for a home, planting roots inWaukesha County has become increasingly challenging for many individuals at an early stage in their careers, as well as for critical service professionals such as first responders, health care workers and teachers. WCCG is committed to ensuringWaukesha County remains a place that young families and individuals in their prime working years can call home by supporting initiatives to provide more multi-family housing stock and moderately priced housing options. • Approximately half of the people who live inWaukesha County leave each day for jobs elsewhere in the region. At the same time, 60 percent of the people who work withinWaukesha County commute here from outside the county lines. This demonstrates the importance of our regional economy and the need for a safe, modern transportation system to facilitate regional economic development. We must also seek innovative training and transportation solutions to engage disenfranchised populations in economic opportunities across the region. This Business Growth Strategy seeks to identify and address regional imperatives that impact economic development inWaukesha County. This document will serve as a guide from 2022 to 2024 to increase economic prosperity for our businesses and communities and improve the quality of life for our residents in the county. The Center for Growth team is committed to leading the way! • View the 2022-2024 Business Growth Strategy. LEARN MORE AT MIRON-CONSTRUCTION.COM An equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. At Miron Construction, we build excellence into every aspect of our organization, from the buildings we construct to the team members who make each project a reality. In an ever-evolving industry that leans heavily on resourcefulness and hard work, we look to the craftspeople of today and the workforce of tomorrow to bring not only their passion, but their unique talents and drive to deliver successful projects for our clients. Together, we are Building Excellence.
There are many factors that go into a business’ decision about where to locate. Amid a significant workforce shortage, which is not projected to improve anytime soon, it’s more crucial than ever that states compete – not only for businesses, but for talent. When we take a step back to look at Wisconsin, how truly competitive is the state? What do we do well and where do we need to improve? What are other states around the country doing to win the war for talent and drive economic growth? TAXES The interconnectedness of taxes, policy and workforce is something state and business leaders are watching closely. “Taxes and tax policy impact everything,” said Samantha Metcalf, managing principal of private industries for CLA. “Tax policy has a direct impact on where people want to live, what the community and social system and lifestyle is like, and financial decisions that impact businesses such as expansion, investment, hiring, and more. States are in a war for talent. To continue driving economic growth, the states that win will be those that take a close look at tax and tax policy to continue to make them attractive to businesses and workers.” A recent proposal by the Wisconsin Center for Research on the Economy (CROWE) proposed eliminating Wisconsin’s personal income tax. While the income tax burden has fallen for Wisconsin taxpayers as a group, it is still relatively high compared to other states. (Wisconsin Policy Forum). Seven states (Washington, Nevada, Texas, Wyoming, South Dakota, Tennessee and Florida) don’t have an income tax at all. CROWE researcher Noah Williams states “even though the state has seen income COVER STORY SUZANNE KELLEY President & CEO Waukesha County Business Alliance, Inc. HOW COMPETITIVE IS WISCONSIN? WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. 16
APRIL 2022 MAGAZINE 17 tax reductions over the past decade, the state income tax remains one of the highest in the country. By contrast, the state’s sales tax is among the lowest. Therefore, I would consider a tax reform to eliminate the state income tax and make up some of the lost revenue by increasing the sales tax.” Even holding individual taxes steady may mean that Wisconsin gets passed up in the rankings, as states around the country continue to make changes. According to the Tax Foundation, last year was a historic year for income tax rate reductions, with more states reducing individual income tax rates in a single year since the 1980s. In 2021 alone, 13 states enacted or implemented individual income tax rate reductions. Wisconsin’s biennial budget, signed in 2021, included a $2 billion income tax cut. According to the Wisconsin Department of Revenue, the average Wisconsinite earning $61,000 a year will see an income tax cut of $488 the first year and $975 over the next two years. While Wisconsin’s rate ranks 31st for corporate income taxes (7.9 percent), we are competitive in comparison to some of our neighboring Midwest states, such as Illinois (9.5 percent), Iowa (9.8 percent), and Minnesota (9.8 percent). When it comes to corporate income taxes, Wisconsin is a leader in manufacturing, as the state’s Manufacturing and Agriculture Tax Credit nearly eliminates the income tax for businesses in those industries. The credit is vital for Wisconsin to attract and retain manufacturing companies, which is critical for a state that is consistently one of the top manufacturing states in the U.S. Another place Wisconsin consistently ranks well is in sales tax. With a state sales tax rate of five percent and an average of .43 percent in local sales taxes, Wisconsin is one of the lowest sales tax states in the country. While Wisconsin may be competitive with regards to certain taxes, there is still work to be done. Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce’s (WMC) 2035 report shows Wisconsin as the 6th least tax friendly state for the middle class, the 8th highest property tax state and 11th highest in state and local income taxes combined (Tax Foundation and Kiplinger’s). Similarly, the Tax Foundation’s State Business Tax Climate Index ranks Wisconsin as 27th. While we avoid the bottom 10, we have work to do to make our way to the top 10. In a national war for talent -- and businesses -- states that are not actively working to improve the overall tax climate will continue to fall in rankings. Like the many changes happening around the country with personal income taxes, CLA says that 10 states have proposals to cut corporate rates and five states have legislation that would cut individual sales tax rates.
WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG 18 DEMOGRAPHICS & WORKFORCE Aside from taxes, Wisconsin’s population and overall demographics present a grim outlook. From 2010 to 2020, Wisconsin’s population growth was 3.6 percent, in comparison to the national average of 7.4 percent. During the same 10-year period, 21 of the state’s 72 counties lost population, including Milwaukee County. Future projections show continued challenges. In Waukesha County, projected high school graduations continue to decline from 2022 through 2032 (Waukesha County Technical College). "There is a significant demographic decline impacting the size of graduating high school classes that begins this year in Waukesha County and will spread across the country by 2025. What this suggests is that the shortage in the available workforce being experienced now will become even more amplified very soon. This is a longerterm reality that will extend until 2032 at least," states Waukesha County Technical College President Rich Barnhouse. In December of 2021, Wisconsin was among 11 states nationally with an unemployment rate below three percent (DOR). The combination of Wisconsin’s tax rankings, demographic trends and already low unemployment demonstrate that if we want to remain competitive, we need to do more. WHAT ARE WE DOING WELL? While Wisconsin’s tax climate can continue to be improved to make our state more attractive, our overall state rankings, among all categories, deserve to be touted. U.S. News &World Report ranks Wisconsin as the 8th best state overall and 9th in terms of economic opportunity and fiscal stability. Wisconsin’s low cost of living certainly gives it a boost in the national rankings – also included in WMC’s 2035 report was that Wisconsin’s cost of living was 8.1 percent lower than the national average, 19 percent lower than the West Cost and 23 percent lower than the East Coast. While the low cost of living is a huge advantage for Wisconsin when it comes to competing for talent, the low population growth statewide, and population loss in several counties, points to the fact that either potential workers aren’t putting enough weight into that factor when making a move, or that Wisconsin needs to do a better job telling our story. In low tax states, four people move in for every one person who moves out. In high tax states, 2.5 people leave for every one person who moves in. (Redfin). In 2021, the top 10 states for inbound migration were all low-tax states. Not coincidentally, the top 10 states for outbound migration were high tax states. As WMC’s 2035 report says, “Research shows that people follow opportunity, but high taxes can serve as a deterrent. As other states take action, Wisconsin cannot rest on its laurels. A bold tax reform plan will help drive the state’s economy forward.” •
APRIL 2022 MAGAZINE 19
WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG Cousins Subs is aWisconsin-based, family-owned, fast-casual sub shop established in 1972 and driven by the mission to Believe in Better – both in the quality of food we serve and in the communities we support. Cousins Subs and its franchisees operate nearly 100 locations throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Indiana, providing guests with quality deli fresh and made to order grilled subs on our signature bread baked daily. We are thrilled to be celebrating our 50th anniversary this year! The company is guided both in business and people by four core values: Grounded, Passionate, Purposeful and Optimistic. We are proud to promote from within as often as possible, with over 25 percent of total corporate headcount having been promoted in the last two years. We’ve also been named one of Milwaukee’s Coolest Offices by Milwaukee Business Journal, and a 2021 TopWorkplace by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Cousins’ goal is to always be ahead of the curve in our industry when it comes to employee benefits. Every store teammember receives a free meal each shift. Salaried managers earn paid time off, paid holidays and are eligible for generous bonuses. Contrasting most restaurants, our salaried managers enjoy work/life balance with a 45-hour workweek, and no early mornings or late nights. Our corporate staff members enjoy a casual office dress code, open concept work environment, comprehensive benefits package with 401K match, and more. Every quarter, the Cousins leadership team shares highlights on state of the business, employee recognition and of course, a catered breakfast or lunch. Additionally, our corporate team enjoys themed potlucks, unwinding with coworkers in the office test kitchen during happy hours, birthday and anniversary celebrations, holiday parties and fun outings like bowling and Brewers games. All corporate employees also receive free lunch from our Menomonee Falls restaurant during the workweek, as well as a 50 percent discount for all food purchased outside work hours. DRIVEN BY A MISSION TO 'BELIEVE IN BETTER' COURTNEY HENDRICKS HR Manager, Cousins Subs 20
APRIL 2021 MAGAZINE 21 WIDE OPEN SPACES INDOOR & OUTDOOR OPTIONS 262.547.0201 • 2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee, WI 53072 theinglesidehotel.com • Recently renovated property • 40,000 sq. ft. of exible meeting space • 40 acres of outdoor space available for all types of events • Convienently located o I-94 between Milwaukee and Madison Since 1972, our community support has been unwavering. With the inception of our Make It Better Foundation in 2013, we’ve continued to be passionate about improving the lives of children, families and communities we proudly serve. In nine years, Cousins has donated nearly $750,000 to 131 nonprofit organizations that address the vital community needs of health & wellness, hunger and youth education. In addition, Cousins Subs corporate office employees are provided up to 40 hours of paid time off each year to support nonprofit organizations of their choice through our Volunteer Time Off Program. But what truly sets Cousins Subs apart is our culture. We pride ourselves on being a family-friendly company that fosters an environment of fun and service to our community. Despite the last few years of challenges, we’ve continued to grow and are always looking for next-level talent to add to our teams. Our onboarding process sets up each employee for ultimate success with six weeks of paid training, access to our online CousinsU interactive university, and continuous growth paths for employees interested in promotion. Our company is nothing without its people, so we strive to always invest in those who make us better each and every day. If you know someone would make a great Cousins team member, visit us at work4cousins.com to view our open opportunities. •
WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG Tell us a little bit about yourself. I received my Associate Degree in Civil Engineering and Fresh Water Resources from Gateway Technical College in Sturtevant, where I graduated as Valedictorian of my class. I joined R/M as an intern in 2019 and accepted a full-time position 2020. In my free-time, I like to go trap shooting, kayaking, and horseback riding. Why did you decide to get involved with the trades? I took a variety of STEM classes in high school and was involved in a program called “Destination Imagination,” which is all about engineering. I knew then that I wanted to be involved in an engineering-related career, but I was also interested in the water side of science – water testing and things like that – and the program at Gateway allowed me to study both. What led you to your current career path? My teachers knew that I lived in the Waukesha area, but most of the internships promoted at Gateway were located in Racine. One of my teachers saw an opening for the internship at R/M in Waukesha and sent it over to me. I jumped at the opportunity to fill out an interest form online, however, it was near the application deadline, so I decided to drop off my resume in person. I was on my way to the R/M office to do so when my current boss called me after seeing my interest form and asked if I was interested in interviewing for the position. When I told him I was actually on my way to the office, he asked if we could do the interview that day. The rest is history! What is the hardest part about being in the trades? Being a woman in an industry that’s primarily male dominated. I spend most of my days on construction sites, and while there are more and more women getting involved in construction and engineering work all the time, there are still certain stereotypes and obstacles we have to navigate. What’s your favorite part about your job? All the people I get to talk to! I meet new people all the time. I also have so much flexibility when it comes to my day-to-day work. And I love that I get to be outside almost all the time. What would you say to someone who wants to get involved in the trades? Communication is the most important thing when it comes to being successful in this type of role. If you know how to work with different personalities and can effectively navigate problems that arise before they escalate, you’ll set yourself up for success. Where do you see yourself going in the future? I love working for R/M and hope to progress in my career here. There are so many opportunities available. None of us know where the future will take us, but I look forward to finding out! • ELIZABETH BROWN Construction Review Technician, Ruekert & Mielke, Inc. SPOTLIGHT ON THE TRADES 22
23 JANUARY 2022 MAGAZINE townbank.us As your local bank, we’re proud to serve this area: the people, businesses, and organizations that actively work to make our county the best it can be. Because this is our home, too. We’ve been in Waukesha County for 24 years, and we’re proud to have five convenient locations here. We’re committed to offering the expertise, resources, and solutions you need to succeed. When you combine the best local knowledge with the security of a strong bank, it’s a winning combination. LOCAL ROOTS WAUKESHA COUNTY ’S BANK FOR BUSINESS
Headquarters: 262 662.5551 13890 Bishops Dr., Ste. 100 Brookfield, WI 53005 pschwabe.com Design-Build Design-Assist Pre-Construction Construction Remodels National Brand Programs WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG 24
Describe your company. Associated Banc-Corp (NYSE: ASB) has total assets of $35 billion and is Wisconsin’s largest bank holding company. Headquartered in Green Bay, Associated is a leading Midwest banking franchise, offering a full range of financial products and services frommore than 200 banking locations serving more than 100 communities throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota, and commercial financial services in Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Texas. Associated Bank, N.A. is an Equal Housing Lender, Equal Opportunity Lender and Member FDIC. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career? Believe in people, they usually rise to the level of your belief in them. What is your personal key to success? Never hear the first “no”, always respect the second“no”. What’s the first job you ever had? Landscaping for a local company during summers of high school and college. What is your dream job? NFL Commissioner. What book are you currently reading or would you recommend? Anything written by Patrick Lencioni. What is something unique about you? I make the best grilled wings on the planet. What is your favorite pastime? Spending time with family, golfing, watching almost any sporting event (especially Premier League Soccer), and fantasy football. • GUS D. HERNANDEZ Commercial Banking Market Leader, Associated Bank EXECUTIVE PROFILE JANUARY 2022 MAGAZINE 25
More than 100 students from local school districts attended Mini Business World at WCTC. The spring cohort of Leadership Waukesha County kicked off at Ruekert & Mielke. More than 200 members attended the Alliance's annual Manufacturing Voices program hosted at The Ingleside Hotel. Young Professionals of Waukesha County hosted an Executive Chat featuring Matt Moroney of Wangard Partners. The Alliance and Center for Growth supported the launch of FlexRide Milwaukee. AROUND THE COUNTY WITH THE ALLIANCE Molson Coors' Vice President of DE&I Steven Brown spoke at AMP! hosted by WCTC. See what the Alliance was up to over the last fewmonths. Alliance Ambassadors met at Lou Malnati's to discuss priorities and opportunities for 2022. WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG 26
Abraham's On-Site Shredding Service Muskego AILCO Equipment Finance Group Waukesha American Construction Services West Bend Apsidien LLC Jackson ChemScan, Inc Waukesha DEVELOP LLC Sauk City Employee Health Centre LLC Pewaukee Lannon Stone Realty LLC Sussex Law Offices of Carlson & Lunde, SC Waukesha Moreland OB-GYN Associates SC Waukesha My Money Strategies LLC Oconomowoc Patina Solutions Brookfield RCH Communications Waukesha Scan-Pac Manufacturing Menomonee Falls Summit Medical Specialists Waukesha The Barry Company Milwaukee VIBE Photo Studio LLC Waukesha Wegner CPAs Waukesha Wildeck Inc Waukesha Wipfli LLP Milwaukee WELCOME NEW MEMBERS! The Alliance is proud to welcome the following companies as new members during the first quarter of 2022: APRIL 2022 MAGAZINE 27 DEVELOP YOUR TEAM with skills to meet your workforce needs. WCTC offers comprehensive training in skills that can be immediately applied in the workplace. The following technical diplomas are taught by instructors with extensive industry experience: • Import/Export Specialist • Lean/Six Sigma • Organizational Leadership • Supply Chain Professional • Customer Service Specialist Equal Opportunity Affirmative Action Employer/Educator Visit wctc.edu
All rights reserved. No part of this guide may be reproduced in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopy, recording or any information retrieval system without written permission from the publisher. Every effort was made to ensure the accuracy of this publication. Waukesha County Business Alliance, Inc. cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information presented here or be held accountable for omissions or errors. Please report any changes to the Alliance for inclusion in subsequent editions. © 2022 Waukesha County Business Alliance, Inc. 2717 N. Grandview Blvd, Suite 300, Waukesha, WI 53188 (262) 542-4249 | www.waukesha.org MISSION To drive economic growth in Waukesha County. VISION To make Waukesha County the best place to do business.