Accelerate Magazine April 2023



APRIL 2023 MAGAZINE SUZANNE KELLEY President & CEO Waukesha County Business Alliance, Inc. As I reflect on the last several months, growth stands out as a common theme for the business community in Waukesha County. Robust growth and expansion took place throughout 2022 and the momentum has carried through into the current year. The Alliance is proud to be supporting our members as Waukesha County continues to be in expansion mode. And while we are optimistic about what lies ahead, there is still work to be done. It’s clear our county’s greatest challenge remains workforce. The Alliance continues to work with stakeholders to explore solutions to workforce barriers such as childcare. Like housing and transportation, childcare is complex and the issues around it are not easy to solve. What is clear, however, is that childcare is increasingly a business issue as employers struggle to bring products and services to market due to staffing shortages. Serving our mission to drive economic growth in Waukesha County and beyond, the Alliance will continue to provide a forum for building community partnerships and advancing employer-driven solutions around childcare and other pressing issues. TACKLING WORKFORCE BARRIERS LEARN MORE AT MIRON-CONSTRUCTION.COM An equal opportunity, affirmative action employer. In today’s work environment, career paths are not always linear. Within the construction industry, it takes the diverse skills and experiences of a talented workforce to bring a project to life. The entire team at Miron Construction has a shared purpose, drawing on each individual’s unique interests and abilities to collectively make an impact and help our clients achieve their vision. It’s their passion that drives our success. Together, we’re Building Excellence. “I am grateful for the chance to encourage others as they walk a winding path towards finding purpose, being fulfilled, and making an impact!” JILL DIDIER Vice President, Business Development, Milwaukee Office 3

ADVERTISERS 4 BGS Glass Service 21 Carroll University 5 Delzer Lithograph 4 Felss Rotaform LLC 7 First Business Bank 27 HPS/Paymedix 3 Miron Construction Co., Inc. 24 R&R Insurance Services 19 The Ingleside Hotel 17 Town Bank 23 TRG Marketing 2 University of WisconsinMilwaukee at Waukesha 10 Waukesha County Technical College 29 WICPA Felss Rotaform LLC 5160 S Emmer Dr. New Berlin 262-821-6293 Develop a Career in Manufacturing with Felss Rotaform Felss Rotaform LLC 5160 S Emmer Dr. New Berlin 262-821-6293 Develop a Career in Manufacturing with Felss Rotaform AWARD NOMINATIONS NOW OPEN WWW.WAUKESHA.ORG Waukesha County Business Alliance ADVOCATE DEVELOP ENGAGE GROW WAUKESHA COUNTY ADVOCATE OF THE YEAR DON RICHARDS LEADERSHIP AWARD

ON THE COVER... 6 Planning for the Future 22 A Key to the Labor Shortage 8 Ignite Topline Growth 9 SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESS: Real Time Automation 11 VJS Construction Services Celebrates 75 Years 13 Waukesha Water Project 18 Alliance Advocates for Business Priorities During Budget Process 20 NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT: Family Promise of Waukesha County 25 EXECUTIVE PROFILE: Tim Schneider, President & CEO, Bank Five Nine 26 SPOTLIGHT ON THE TRADES: Innovative Signs 28 Around the County 29 Welcome New Members 510 S. WEST AVE | WAUKESHA, WI 53186 | 262.522.2600 | DELZER.COM DESIGN FULFILL PRINT CONTENTS 15 COVER STORY How Is Wisconsin's Childcare Landscape Impacting Workforce?

WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG As the competitive landscape of education continues to intensify, schools are looking for opportunities to gain an edge and remain a top choice amongst prospective families and students. Catholic Memorial High School made a strong statement this winter with the announcement of a multimillion-dollar land acquisition. On December 19, 2022 Catholic Memorial High School closed on the real estate purchase of the former Infinity Fields Baseball Park in Waukesha, (now Sullivan Campus). The acquisition of the facility, located on Les Paul Parkway, includes an estimated 36 acres and a 51,000-square-foot indoor athletic facility. “We are thrilled to take this step forward,” Catholic Memorial President Donna Bembenek said. “The expansion of the campus has been a goal for many years. We are excited for the opportunities it will bring to every student at CMH today and long into the future.” In alignment with the school’s strategic plan launched in 2020, the move demonstrates an investment in the continued growth of the school while integrating seamlessly with Catholic Memorial’s strengths. Founded in 1949, Catholic Memorial has long been regarded for its excellence both academically and athletically. The Crusaders own 115 state championships across 21 sports. The school’s academic rigor is evident in the more than 30 advanced courses which includes AP, International Baccalaureate, and Concurrent Enrollment offerings, in addition to its distinction as a Distinguished School for STEM Curriculum for five straight years. The purchase of the Infinity Fields property offers the opportunity to enhance the athletic and academic programs and the experience for Catholic Memorial students. “We have one of the most sought-after athletic programs in the state, and now our facilities can match the success and help our students reach even higher,” Bembenek said. “The additional academic opportunities that this space provides allows CMH to continue to offer the top-tier education we are known for.” Embedded in the 36 acres of property are eight acres of Miishkooki Wetlands which the school plans to utilize for its science classes. Additional academic opportunities will be provided to the school’s robust internship program for students interested in engineering, environmental science, and marketing as development on the property progresses. With the help of the philanthropic community, Catholic Memorial’s vision for the property is to develop the campus FUTURE PLANNING FOR THE Catholic Memorial High School invests in former Infinity Fields Baseball Park. 6

into a state-of-the-art, multi-sport athletic complex that will provide a home for sports including softball, baseball, soccer, rugby, lacrosse and more. Catholic Memorial alumnus, Tim Sullivan ’71, kicked off the contributions with a lead gift of $1 million. For Sullivan, his support of the campus expansion comes from his belief in the critical skills students gain from participating in athletics. “Success in life is built on a solid foundation in academics, but also in skills learned while participating in athletics. Sports provide the basis for learning – dedication, teamwork, perseverance - and figuring out how to win,” Sullivan said. “All these attributes are critical in achieving life’s goals. We hope this expansion further enhances CMH’s ability to teach young adults the skills necessary to be successful.” Along with benefitting the students at Catholic Memorial, the complex will be a regional destination available to teams and clubs for tournaments, games, practices, and more. Catholic Memorial also plans for the property to be accessible to area businesses and organizations through sponsorship and partnership opportunities. Development on the property is expected to begin following the fall sports season and will be completed over the course of 24 to 36 months. Community support for the campus expansion in the months following the purchase has been extremely positive. With its commitment to growth, support of the community and the opportunities presented by the campus expansion, the positive momentum continues to build for Catholic Memorial and its standing as a top school choice for students and families in the area. • Member FDIC The Bank Built For Business When there’s a lot at stake, it’s essential to work with a bank focused on delivering what businesses need without wasting your time. That’s why it’s smart to work with First Business Bank, founded intentionally to serve business owners. For more than 30 years, our focus on business has led to unmatched expertise, industryleading service, and smarter financial decisions. David Schade Vice President Treasury Management

IGNITE TOPLINE GROWTH How RevOps and Go-To-Market Alignment Spark Success When Melanie Varin became the USA General Manager for GE Healthcare’s Diagnostic Cardiology unit, little did she know that it would be a pivotal point in her life and her perspective on business! Up until that point, she had spent much of her career in marketing and quality positions. Suddenly, she was responsible for USA sales in a $120+ million business. As a sales leader, she quickly realized that her marketing team was not always helping drive sales. Some of their projects were interesting, but not always effective. Varin recognized a big misalignment problem between her go-to-market teams. As she continued to focus on sales growth, she was determined to get her marketing team more aligned with sales and vice versa. It took several months and multiple initiatives, but the rewards were great. Over time, she saw improved collaboration, increased sales, strengthened margins, noticeably improved morale, and decreased turnover. She and her team also won the largest deal in the history of the unit – $8 million in one order – compared to their previously large deal sizes of ~$300,000. That experience gave Varin a passion for driving goto-market alignment, including alignment of sales, marketing, customer service/success, and any other revenue-generating teams. The current buzzword for this focus on alignment is Revenue Operations or simply RevOps. It is a huge initiative across businesses today – both large and small. Varin's passion led her to write a book about the value of go-to-market alignment, Ignite Topline Growth: How RevOps and Go-To-Market Alignment Spark Success. The eBook was published in late January 2023, and the paperback became available in early March. It is available on Amazon and can be ordered by any bookstore. In doing her research for the book, Varin realized that sales and marketing misalignment costs businesses $1 trillion annually. It seems that teams everywhere – including nonprofits! – have the same misalignment problem she previously encountered. It’s also a misalignment challenge faced by many of her clients at TopLine Results Corporation. Varin and the TopLine team work relentlessly to help their clients bring together the right tools to build valuable relationships. They provide consulting services for two key platforms that help drive alignment: customer relationship management (CRM) and digital marketing automation software. In Varin's book, she talks about the value of having a common technology platform for go-to-market teams, but that is only one of the elements needed for strong alignment. The other elements include a shared definition of the customer, common goals, and clearly defined processes. Varin expands on these points by writing a business fable that demonstrates and solves the problem of misalignment, followed by a section that ties it all together with a practical and instructional approach – much like the style of writing used by Patrick Lencioni, author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and many other business books. If you’d like to connect with Varin to learn more about her book or to engage with her for consulting, workshops, or speaking engagements, please go to to register your interest. You can also contact TopLine Results Corporation at 1-800-880-1960 or • WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG 8

9 APRIL 2023 MAGAZINE SMALL BUSINESS SUCCESS Q: Describe your business. A: We provide manufacturers, and their suppliers, solutions to move data within their automation systems. We are saving the world from the previously inaccessible data on the factory floor, allowing small (and large) manufacturers to improve their processes and competitive edge. Q: How was the idea for the business born? A: Through abject failure. In the late 1980s our founder, John Rinaldi left Rockwell Automation® to pursue his passion. He was going to bring intelligent toys to his world. Toy manufacturers ended up being a cold group to join. Through the toy trials, side projects from Rockwell kept presenting themselves. Eventually, John’s wife kicked him out of their spare bedroom. He found a local office and started a company that would become Real Time Automation. Q: What sets your company apart? A: Relentless focus on customer service and customer experience. We bring retail and commercial business practices to the manufacturing space. When you call, a live person answers the phone. You can buy our products online, directly. We have everything in stock and ship orders same day. We strive to make buying an RTA product an experience the user will never regret. Q: What are your biggest challenges as a small business? A: People. We are a software company that has a heavy focus on legacy technology. Finding and training talented people that are a good cultural fit is the biggest challenge. It’s also the most rewarding. People build your culture and culture is the only viable competitive advantage a small business can harness for top talent. Driven networking nerds and wired Wisconsin weirdos are always welcome. REAL TIME AUTOMATION, INC.® Creating connectivity solutions for building automation. DREW BARYENBRUCH President, Real Time Automation, Inc.®

Q: What have been your biggest successes? A: After 33 years in business, we are still finding ways to reinvent ourselves and grow the business. In 2022, we grew the business 20 percent and hit a revenue goal set by John Rinaldi to initiate a transfer of equity to an ESOP. We will be an employee-owned company in 2023. Q: What has been the most surprising part of running a small business? A: Southeastern Wisconsin is teaming with partners that can simplify running your business and allow you the focus needed to bring your core value to market. We tragically lost a VP in December, and the partners he had chosen for us were tremendously valuable as we dealt with both our personal loss and the prospect of replacing the role he played in our business. This is a great region to build a business in. Q: What is something you know now that you wish you would have known when you started? A: R&D always takes exponentially longer than estimated. • Creation is a messy business. • Engineers like creation. • Engineers never properly account for mess. When you are looking to bring new things to the world, do not bet the house on a delivery date. Support the process, set attainable check points and be open to pivots as discoveries are made. Q: What is your favorite part about being a small business owner? A: Looking around the office and seeing all the other soonto-be owners. • WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. 10

APRIL 2023 MAGAZINE 11 VJS Construction Services (VJS), a Pewaukee-based and family-owned construction manager, general contractor, and design builder is celebrating 75 years of building with purpose. VJS, formerly Voss Jorgensen Schueler Company, was founded in 1947, by two former Allis-Chalmers engineers, Harold Voss and John Hrdlicka. In the late 70s, Gary Jorgensen and Tom Schueler joined the firm as Voss and Hrdlicka headed for retirement. The company rebranded in 2005 becoming VJS Construction Services and since has become one of Wisconsin’s largest construction firms ranked as a Top 400 Contractor in the Midwest by the Engineering News-Record as well as Best Places to Work by the Milwaukee Business Journal. During the late 1990s and early 2000s, VJS began to transition to the next generation of leadership with two of Jorgensen’s sons taking leadership roles with the firm. Craig Jorgensen became president and David Jorgensen vice president. The firm also brought on multiple nonfamily members as partners to diversify leadership and develop new innovative ways to meet the needs of their clients. “Our continued success lies in meeting the needs of our clients, and a driving force behind our business is continually investigating how we can provide more value to our clients, and how to make the entire process easier for them. Accordingly, we have expanded our services beyond construction to also include real estate, development, and architectural services. As they have needed additional assistance to get their projects off the ground, we have found ways to meet those needs, which, in turn, allows us greater control and more successful outcomes,” said Craig Jorgensen, CEO and President at VJS. Today VJS offers preconstruction, construction, design/ build, and real estate services to the aviation, civic and community, corporate, healthcare, education, manufacturing/industrial, multi-family housing, religious, retail and hospitality, and senior living markets. VJS is proud of its long-standing partnerships with clients and trade partners while expressing gratitude for the exceptional customer service provided by its dedicated team members. The strength of these relationships is a testament of how the firm is able to boast 80 percent of VJS CONSTRUCTION SERVICES CELEBRATES 75 YEARS

its annual income as repeat business, with some clients as building partners for over 30 years. Some of their long-term clients include Rogers Behavioral Health, a mental health care provider for children, teens, and adults, located in Waukesha County. Rogers has trusted VJS as a building partner for 20 plus years, beginning in the late 1990s when Rogers engaged VJS to renovate its main hospital campus. Since then, VJS has completed over 180 projects at multiple Rogers facilities nationwide. Additionally, VJS collaborates with community partners to attract families and businesses with recreational and purposeful spaces to live, work, and enjoy. For this reason, YMCA of Greater Waukesha County has partnered with VJS for over 20 years to support their goals to build facilities that reinforce their commitment to deliver quality programs and essential services to the communities they serve. Headquartered in Waukesha County, the construction firm is not only committed to its building partnerships, but also its community partnerships. VJS is a long-time member of the Waukesha County Business Alliance. The firm is actively engaged in the Alliance’s business-education partnership programs supporting its mission to drive economic growth in Waukesha County and beyond through the organization's Advocate, Develop, Engage, and Grow approach. The company is honored and privileged to have built communities in southeast Wisconsin for the past 75 years, and as it prepares future leaders of VJS, looks forward to another 75 years of devoting talent and creativity to build places that transform life and work. • Waukesha YMCA Rogers Behavioral Health – Oconomowoc Campus Mukwonago YMCA WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. 12

APRIL 2023 MAGAZINE 13 After two decades of effort, Waukesha will soon have a new, safe and reliable water supply. The Waukesha Water Utility will switch from its current groundwater supply to Lake Michigan water in late summer 2023. The project is currently on time and on budget. The project is known as the Great Water Alliance because it required the cooperation of neighboring communities for the development of our pipeline route. And, in a historic example of regional cooperation, the Milwaukee Water Works will be our supplier – saving Waukesha businesses and families $4 million per year compared to the cost of other potential suppliers. Many area communities have also made the switch to Lake Michigan water from Milwaukee without problems. In fact, Milwaukee serves nearly 900,000 consumers in 16 area communities. We are working to ensure that our transition is as smooth as possible, and we are committed to keeping our customers safe and informed. However, it is important to understand that there will be both temporary and permanent changes in the water. While our focus will remain on providing safe, high-quality water, water characteristics and treatment methods will change. If your business treats water for processes or products, this is the time to consult with your water treatment professionals to plan for any needed adjustments. The entire transition could take as long as one month, as water travels through our more than 300 miles of pipes. During this time, your water may temporarily have a UTILITY STAFF CAN HELP BUSINESSES PREPARE FOR WAUKESHA’S NEW WATER SUPPLY DAN DUCHNIAK General Manager, Waukesha Water Utility City switching to Lake Michigan water in late summer.

WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. 14 chlorine-like smell or taste which should occur for only a day or two, if it is noticeable at all. Water discoloration could also occur for a short period of time due to the normal buildup of sediment in pipes, similar to what can happen during our annual pipe flushing. Impacts in some areas may be greater than others, occur at different times, or not be noticeable at all. Discolored water is aesthetically unappealing but does not pose a human health issue. However, you should remove certain water filters and avoid activities like laundering or making ice until the water is clear. Flushing your system’s water pipes with cold water is typically the best way to resolve any problems with discolored water. One permanent difference with the new water supply is a change in the disinfection process from chlorine (currently used by Waukesha) to chloramines (used by Milwaukee). Both are commonly used to ensure public health protection and the change should be unnoticeable. However, the switch to chloramine may affect some business uses and health care treatments such as dialysis. Owners of aquariums or fishponds should consult local pet stores before the transition about the required changes in water treatment. Customers south and southeast of the Fox River could notice an increase in water pressure due to the addition of a new water tower. Other permanent changes in water characteristics include pH, mineral content, alkalinity and hardness, which may be relevant for some business users. Some people may notice a slight change in the taste since Milwaukee water has less mineral content than groundwater. Lake Michigan water is at least 60 percent softer than our current water supply which will be a permanent benefit. It may reduce or eliminate your need for water softeners. For more information, including details on the city’s water softener optimization requirements, see the Clean Water Plant’s web page at We are grateful for the strong and invaluable support of the Waukesha Business Alliance throughout our efforts to provide a new water supply that will be safe, reliable and sustainable for generations to come. Our current water supply is severely drawn down and contaminated with naturally occurring contaminants like radium. City officials, the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the governors of the eight Great Lakes states all unanimously agreed that our project to provide Lake Michigan water supply is our only reasonable alternative. We are proud and thankful that it is about to become a reality. To stay informed on the water transition, please see www. or follow us on Facebook or Twitter. We are also hosting our spring open houses at City Hall on May 4 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. and on May 6 from 10 a.m. until noon, but please keep in mind that these will be geared toward residential customers. If you have questions about your business needs, would like to set up a meeting with our experts for your business or would like specific information about water chemistry, please visit our contact us page at or call us at (262) 521-5272. •

APRIL 2023 MAGAZINE 15 As Wisconsin faces a dire workforce shortage, only projected to get worse with the demographics of an aging state, the Alliance continues to expand our perspective on “workforce” to look at the myriad of challenges impacting the problem. While the core issue around workforce shortages is simply a lack of enough working-age people, there are additional challenges, or potential solutions, when it comes to conversations around workforce. For example, in recent years, the Alliance has taken a strong position supporting workforce housing. If we continue to increase the number of housing options for workers, such as entry-level first homes for families or affordable multi-family housing, it has a positive impact on workforce. Similarly, the Alliance has been involved with flexible transportation solutions for many years, as transportation is also a workforce issue. In the past year, the Alliance has also participated in several conversations around the topic of childcare, in an effort to better understand how the lack of available childcare and cost of childcare impacts the workforce. Like many things, childcare is a problem that was exacerbated by the pandemic. According to the Wisconsin Early Childhood Association (WECA), during the pandemic, Waukesha County lost nine family child care homes and five group child care programs. The capacity of care for children ages 0-5 decreased by 69 slots in Waukesha County during that time. For many providers, capacity was already an issue prior to the pandemic. Parents often find long waitlists when looking for open childcare slots. COVER STORY ROBYN LUDTKE Senior Vice President of Strategic Initiatives & Workforce, Waukesha County Business Alliance WORKFORCE? HOW IS WISCONSIN'S CHILDCARE LANDSCAPE IMPACTING

WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG 16 And, while some providers may have capacity, the true number of available slots is more complex, as childcare providers face the same workforce challenges as other employers. While a provider may have capacity to serve 150 children, there may only be enough staff to serve 80 children. WECA recently surveyed childcare providers across Wisconsin and 62 percent said they were in need of full-time staff. Six of the nine Waukesha County providers who participated in the survey said they were currently seeking to hire full-time staff. Those providers estimated they are losing roughly $10,000 per month due to the staffing challenges in Waukesha County. The statewide results of WECA’s survey found that more than 9,000 children are not being served due to staffing shortages (and thus lack of available childcare slots) statewide. Among providers across the state: • 60 percent are looking to hire full-time staff • 33 percent have closed classrooms due to staffing challenges • 50 percent have unfilled slots due to staff shortages According to WECA, early childhood professionals in Wisconsin are leaving the early care and education field for better paying jobs with less stress as childcare programs grapple with unprecedented understaffing and hiring woes. This crisis hinders parents’ ability to return to the workforce or increase their hours, which creates a ripple effect on businesses and the economy. WECA’s survey data comes on the backdrop of national childcare employment rates dropping by more than eight percent since February 2020, or a total of 84,400 early childhood jobs. Locally, Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC) operates its own Child Development Center & Lab. The WCTC model operates both as an early childhood care and education center for children, as well as a lab school for WCTC future early educators to get a hands-on learning experience on best practices in developing and implementing age-appropriate curriculum, as well as developing relationships with children and partnerships with families. Like most early childcare and education facilities, WCTC is licensed for 62 students, but currently has 54 children enrolled, due to staffing challenges. There is a waitlist of approximately six to 10 children for each classroom. According to WCTC’s surveys of program graduates, early childhood educators earn an average of $11 to $14 an hour and many do not receive benefits. In today’s competitive hiring world, attracting and retaining professionals to the industry is nearly impossible at the current salary levels. Combine long wait lists to enroll children into a facility with the average cost of daycare for one to two children and the result is certain employees (or potential employees) simply choosing to remain out of the workforce. This impact further curtails the ability of businesses to recruit and retain employees, especially younger, entry-level employees who continue to face childcare challenges. Like housing and transportation, childcare is complex and the issues around it are not easy to solve. What is clear, however, is that childcare is increasingly a business issue as employers struggle to bring products and services to market due to staffing shortages. Serving our mission to drive economic growth in Waukesha County and beyond, the Alliance will continue to provide a forum for building community partnerships and advancing employer-driven solutions around childcare and other pressing issues. We continue to investigate solutions being driven by employers and share best practices with our members. If your business has a solution to address childcare needs, please reach out to our team. •

NEXT-LEVEL BANKING NEXT DOOR WAUKESHA COUNTY’S BANK FOR BUSINESS™ MEET THE TEAM: GRIFFIN PROCHNOW SVP, Business Banking 262-966-7714 PAUL SCHLEICHER Vice President Business Banking 262-369-4224 CRYSTAL KENITZER NMLS # 472263 SVP, Private Client 262-369-4229 PEGGY ARMSTRONG Group EVP, Private Client 262-369-8804 Securities, insurance products, financial planning, and investment management services offered through Wintrust Investments, LLC (Member FINRA/SIPC), founded in 1931. Trust and asset management services offered by The Chicago Trust Company, N.A. and Great Lakes Advisors, LLC, respectively. Investment products such as stocks, bonds, and mutual funds are: NOT FDIC INSURED | NOT BANK GUARANTEED | MAY LOSE VALUE | NOT A DEPOSIT | NOT INSURED BY ANY FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AGENCY COURTNEY BRODERICK Vice President Treasury Management 414-255-1013 Local expertise and bank security make a powerful pair. Our 25 years in Waukesha County have allowed us to serve and support the area’s growth. With five local branches, our team offers the resources you need to succeed. With a commitment to excellence, our experts are eager to serve as your trusted partner for success. COMPANY NEEDS Equipment and working capital financing OUR SOLUTION Fixed-rate equipment financing and line of credit DEAL HIGHLIGHT $13,000,000 COMPANY NEEDS Startup financing to purchase equipment and working capital OUR SOLUTION SBA Express Term Loan DEAL HIGHLIGHT $113,500 COMPANY NEEDS Facility expansion for future growth OUR SOLUTION Construction financing DEAL HIGHLIGHT $7,500,000

ALLIANCE ADVOCATES FOR BUSINESS PRIORITIES DURING BUDGET PROCESS The Alliance strives to keep members informed of key policy issues affecting business and provide a clear and persuasive voice on the issues that matter most. With two registered lobbyists on our team, the Alliance advocates for pro-business, pro-growth policies. We engage our region’s public and private sectors toward a common goal of creating prosperity for our communities and residents through a vibrant business climate. Supporting our advocacy efforts gives businesses a forum to affect positive change in our community. Our policy board and three policy committees conduct in-depth research to identify issues and policy areas for which to advocate. During the state’s biennial budget process, the Alliance takes that work a step further by working to advance priorities and projects as part of the budget process. The Alliance is focused on core business priorities, such as driving workforce development solutions and advocating for pro-business tax policies and a regulatory climate to keep Wisconsin competitive. Here are three specific issues that are a priority for the Alliance this year: UW-Milwaukee’s (UWM) Health Science building renovation. The project is a strategic consolidation and build-out of lab, classroom, and simulation space. It utilizes existing resources to create a state-of-the-art education space within the former Columbia St. Mary’s complex acquired by UWM in 2010. This investment is critical to help produce the healthcare professionals needed to begin addressing Wisconsin’s workforce shortage. UWM offers the most healthcare degrees in Wisconsin, and in 2021-22, UWM granted degrees to 2,093 students in the health and human services fields. Renovation of the building will allow UWM’s College of Health Sciences to consolidate its five current program locations into one modern facility, which in turn will have at least two important payoffs: 1) increase enrollment capacity by 15 percent, which would yield 3,000 more graduates in a 10-year period, and 2) offer a faster and more efficient path to graduation. AMANDA PAYNE Senior Vice President of Public Policy, Waukesha County Business Alliance WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. 18

Investment in the Manufacturing Modernization Grant for Wisconsin manufacturers, which allows manufacturers to receive up to 33 percent (up to a $200,000 reimbursement) for eligible automation projects, including advanced manufacturing hardware and software. This program would build upon a pilot launched in 2022, which resulted in 23 small and medium manufacturing companies from around the state in the project pipeline. The approved projects from the pilot used $267,000 of grant investment to catalyze another $1,860,865 of advanced manufacturing investment – a 7:1 leverage ratio. While large manufacturers use advanced technology to improve productivity and support growth, small and medium-sized manufacturers face the same issue, but the relative expense and risks of implementing new technology are higher for them. These smaller and midsize manufacturers make up over 98 percent of Wisconsin manufacturers and form the backbone of our critical supply chains. Automation projects like these redeploy workers within the investing companies, lessening strain on the workforce pool. Companies implementing advanced technologies are shortening their supply chains and increasing their flexibility and resilience in the face of market challenges. Modernization and expansion of the I-94 EastWest Corridor. The I-94 East-West Corridor connects Milwaukee and Waukesha counties to points beyond. It is a main artery for Wisconsin commerce and serves as the gateway for the products, jobs, destinations, health care, and educational institutions that make the region vibrant and strong. Twenty-seven percent of the seven-county region’s jobs and thirty-five percent of its businesses are within a 5-mile radius of the Stadium Interchange, and thousands more in Milwaukee, Waukesha, and beyond rely on the corridor every day. 17 million tons of freight valued at $25 billion travel through the I-94 East-West Corridor each year. A robust transportation system with convenient and safe highway access is essential to continued economic development and business growth. To get involved and/or support the Alliance's policy priorities, we encourage you to reach out to our team. One of the greatest assets you can provide is engaging in our work to be a voice for business. • WIDE OPEN SPACES INDOOR & OUTDOOR OPTIONS 262.547.0201 • 2810 Golf Road, Pewaukee, WI 53072 • 194 guest rooms and suites • 40,000 sq. ft. of exible meeting space • 40 acres of outdoor space available for all types of events • Conveniently located o I-94 between Milwaukee and Madison

FAMILY PROMISE OF WAUKESHA COUNTY, INC. JOE NETTESHEIM Executive Director, Family Promise of Waukesha County, Inc WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG NONPROFIT SPOTLIGHT Q: Describe your organization and its mission. A: How does a parent read a bedtime story to his or her child or help with homework if they are living in their car? Family Promise of Waukesha County strives to support families and children who are economically vulnerable from experiencing homelessness or stemming the impact of homelessness. We do so by working to prevent family homelessness with financial assistance or by offering shelter. Our response to homelessness is grassroots and community based. We are pleased that faith communities, businesses, and civic groups all participate in supporting our shelter. It is their way of saying we will not tolerate the destructive impact of homelessness on families and our community. Q: What are some of your biggest challenges or obstacles? A: The biggest challenge is the current housing market. There are not enough workforce or affordable housing units available for low-income families. Transportation is another issue. Many of the families we serve do not have a dependable vehicle. As much as we encourage public transportation it is difficult to exist in Waukesha County without a reliable vehicle. Finally, we work to advocate for those who are experiencing homelessness because a fair number of people do not believe there are homeless families in Waukesha County. Many who do acknowledge there is homelessness have stereotypes or misunderstandings about why families are homeless. Q: What have been your biggest successes? A: That 93 percent of the families we assist with financial assistance remain in their homes. Sixty nine percent of the families we serve in shelter exit into independent housing. We have been successful at breaking the cycle of poverty and homelessness for many families. Preventing chronic or generational homelessness is 20

APRIL 2023 MAGAZINE 21 a goal of ours. What we see is that when homelessness becomes a lifestyle, it is difficult to break. . Q: How can businesses support your organization? A: Businesses can support Family Promise by becoming a partner and helping with meals and hospitality for the Community Shelter Program, they can conduct supply or gift card drives, make financial donations or sponsor/play in our golf outing at Oconomowoc Golf Club on July 24. Q: How can individuals get involved in your organization? A: Individuals can volunteer to help make meals and offer hospitality for the shelter program. Periodically we need light maintenance around the Day Center or in the Apartment Shelter Program. We encourage families to volunteer together. Some special program services such as yoga night, financial literacy, cooking + nutrition seminars, or parenting classes. We are open to suggestions as well! Individuals can get involved as board or committee members. Q: What is one thing you wish the community knew about your organization? A: That 70 percent of the families we serve are households led by single moms. These women are brave and resilient. Most of the families we serve have had a traumatic experience that may have contributed to their homelessness which is a trauma itself. This is why we take a holistic approach to serving families. •

WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG A KEY TO THE LABOR SHORTAGE As we work to strengthen the economy in the county, it is important that we work together with our communities to tackle the biggest barrier facing our employers: finding enough qualified employees. Waukesha County employers are currently struggling to fill hundreds of open positions, which impacts our businesses, our quality of life, and threatens economic development for the county, region, and state. We have tremendous potential to positively impact economic growth by solving workforce challenges for our employers. One of the key contributing factors to the labor shortage is the lack of workforce housing. Eighty-five percent of Waukesha County businesses plan to expand their workforce in the next three years. However, employers already struggle to fill open positions. In industries like construction and manufacturing, more than 86 percent of companies are having trouble attracting and retaining employees. The current workforce challenge, coupled with employers’ planned workforce growth, points to a critical need to get more talent into Waukesha County. Waukesha County’s low unemployment rate has exacerbated an already dire workforce shortage for area employers. A diverse housing stock for employees and their families to choose from gives employers and communities an advantage when competing to attract talent. As an example, the median wage of a Civil Engineer, Credit Analyst, or an Architect in Waukesha County is about $74,000. At that salary, a person could only afford a home costing about $300,000. Similarly, Web Developers, Forensic Science Technicians, and Lodging Managers make about $54,000 per year. That translates to being able to afford a roughly $229,000 home. These are people that we want, and need, to work AND live in Waukesha County. Exacerbating the problem is the mounting challenge of building new multi-family and single-family homes and apartments in the current market that can be considered “affordable” for many workers and young families. And home prices continue to rise: • The cost for single-family construction is up 30 percent from two years ago. • Wisconsin house prices are up 20 percent from 2019 through 2021; and up 40 percent since 2016. • The Waukesha County median home sale price increased from $290,000 in 2018 to $338,000 in 2020. The greatest challenge facing the business community – across Wisconsin and right here in Waukesha County – is the state’s workforce shortage. Together, we can work with Waukesha County communities to identify and implement solutions that address the shortage of workforce housing in Waukesha County and provide more housing possibilities for our employees and their families. • NICOLE RYF Executive Director, Waukesha County Center for Growth 22

we know. Do you know the financial impact your insurance broker is having on your business? If your insurance broker is not helping your bottom line, it may be time to make a change. At R&R Insurance, we serve as your trusted business advisor. We provide leading industry insights, market trends and benchmarking tools so you can make informed, data drive decisions, and run your businesses more efficiently. Our custom designed approaches to commercial insurance and employee benefits will improve your productivity and reduce absenteeism which means growth and profitability for you. And our specialized insurance products will protect your assets and income. As a Business Insurance Top 100 Agency, an owner in the Assurex Global Network, and one of the largest independent and family owned agencies in the region, we work with thousands of businesses in Wisconsin, the U.S. and all over the world. Thursday, September 14, 2023 4:30 - 7:30 p.m. Brookfield Conference Center Presented By: As the Waukesha County Business Alliance wraps up its 105th year, join us to celebrate the accomplishments of the business community and discuss trends facing businesses in southeast Wisconsin. Hear from Waukesha County business leaders and celebrate our 2023 award winners.

APRIL 2023 MAGAZINE 25 Describe your role. I am proud to be the CEO and President of Bank Five Nine. We are one of the top 10 largest banks headquartered in Wisconsin, and our mission is to “Make Lives Better." What has been your biggest takeaway since starting in your role? I have been impressed that the very committed team of 330 employees at Bank Five Nine really do live our mission every day in taking care of customers, as well as in donating their time to various community activities and non-profits. What is something unique about you? I played college football and basketball at University of Wisconsin-River Falls. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned in your career? To listen more than you talk. What is your personal key to success? Surround yourself with good people, have a solid strategy, give teammates guidelines tied to that strategy and get out of their way. What’s the first job you ever had? I grew up on a dairy farm in East Central Wisconsin. It was hard work but it taught me a solid work ethic. What is your dream job? Leading a community bank as I am doing now and have done in the past. Though as a kid, I always dreamed of being an NBA player; obviously, that didn’t work out. What book are you currently reading or would you recommend? I am a strong believer that culture is the most important aspect of a successful organization. If you also believe this you need to read “Everybody Matters” by Bob Chapman and Raj Sisodia. What is your favorite pastime? Spending time with family and working out. • TIM SCHNEIDER President & CEO, Bank Five Nine EXECUTIVE PROFILE

Tell us a little bit about yourself. My name is Lillian. I enjoy being around my family, my boyfriend and his family, animals, and spending time outside. Why did you decide to get involved with the trades? I decided I wanted to be involved in the trades freshman year of high school. I enjoyed working with metal and wood and always looked forward to those classes. What led you to your current career path? I would say all my shop classes in high school. I am a very hands-on type of person, sitting behind a desk was not for me. I need to be moving while I work, enjoy learning new things that involve working with my hands, and love a challenge. What is the hardest part about being in the trades? The hardest part is being young and not having all the knowledge yet. I still have a lot to learn as I grow in this field. What’s your favorite part about your job? My favorite part of my job is the people I work with. I am a female in a male dominated trade, but I am not judged. I also enjoying learning new things and developing my skills. What would you say to someone who wants to get involved in the trades? Don’t be afraid to jump into something you’re interested in. If it is something you are about, do it. Don’t let people get in your way. Where do you see yourself in the future? I see myself staying in the trades, and hopefully becoming a welder. • LILLIAN SCHOOK Fabrication Technician, Innovative Signs, Inc. SPOTLIGHT ON THE TRADES WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | 26

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The National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) kicked off its 'Competitiveness Tour' in Waukesha County. The Alliance celebrated growth and expansion in Waukesha County at various ribbon cuttings. Schools2Skills tours continued to take students through the doors of Waukesha County manufacturers. AROUND THE COUNTY WITH THE ALLIANCE The Business Growth & Engagement Speaker Series featured Steve Loehr, Vice President of Kwik Trip. See what the Alliance was up to over the last few months. The Alliance attended the Joint Finance Committee's first public listening session at the Waukesha Expo. Business leaders toured Marquette University's new Dr. E.J. and Margaret O’Brien Hall building. The spring cohort of Leadership Waukesha County kicked off. Waukesha County Technical College hosted tours for construction and manufacturing members. WAUKESHA COUNTY BUSINESS ALLIANCE, INC. | WAUKESHA.ORG 28

City Press Waukesha Coello & Associates Waukesha Digicorp Inc Brookfield Family Promise of Waukesha County Inc Waukesha Gutter Shutter of Southeast Wisconsin LLC Delafield Insight Investment Advisers Brookfield J.P. Cullen & Sons Inc. Milwaukee JLL Milwaukee KVG Building Corporation Milwaukee NAMI Southeast Wisconsin Inc Waukesha R.N.O.W., Inc. West Allis Redeem and Restore Center Waukesha School Choice of Wisconsin Inc West Allis Wisconsin Bank & Trust Milwaukee WELCOME NEW MEMBERS! The Alliance is proud to welcome the following companies as new members during the first quarter of 2023: APRIL 2023 MAGAZINE 29 WICPA Sponsorships The missing piece of your marketing puzzle.

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. © 2023 Waukesha County Business Alliance, Inc. 2717 N. Grandview Blvd, Suite 300, Waukesha, WI 53188 (262) 542-4249 | Waukesha County Business Alliance ADVOCATE DEVELOP ENGAGE GROW MISSION To drive economic growth in Waukesha County. VISION To make Waukesha County the best place to do business.