May 5, 2016
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UW-Parkside students, from left, Rachel White, Jeni Meekma, Olivia Brunner and Cassandra Flannery, collaborate on a market research project at the SEG Center on Wednesday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Invitation to the business world


The University of Wisconsin-Parkside is opening its doors to more than just students.

Local businesses and other organizations are welcomed on campus to help give real-world experience to students studying everything from business and computer science to anthropology and design.

The Kenosha County four-year state university has received national accolades for the level of community involvement and outreach it incorporates on campus, receiving the Carnegie Classification for Community Engagement from Campus Compact, first in 2006 and again in 2015.

Small business advice workshops available

The Wisconsin Small Business Development Center at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside will offer “First Steps in Starting Your Own Small Business,” a free monthly workshop that is open to the public.

The two-hour workshop focuses on questions entrepreneurs face when they open a new business. Topics include business plan development, market feasibility, financial and lender resources, and Small Business Administration resources are included.

The class is a collaborative effort by the Racine Country Workforce Development Center and the Kenosha Area Business Alliance.

Dennis Duchene and Meredith Jurnisko from Kenosha's Convention and Visitors Bureau during an interview at the Kenosha News Thursday. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY BILL SIEL )

Tourism a consistent boost to local economy


In 1986, at the onset of perhaps the lowest point in the local economy since the Great Depression, the Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau was established.

For the first few years, in the wake of large numbers of newly unemployed residents, darkened manufacturing plants, and a crumbling local infrastructure, it was difficult to envision Kenosha County as a tourist destination.

Thirty years later, a much different picture has emerged. Tourism has become a vital part of the local economy, creating new jobs, adding tax revenue and enhancing the overall quality of life in the community.

Megan and Andy Wells (left) pose for a photo with Amy and Brett Loeff before getting onboard a Streetcar Takeover sponsored by Young Leaders in Kenosha (YLink) Friday . The event featured a State of the Downtown in Kenosha presentation from Chris Naumann, Executive Director of Downtown Kenosha, while riding the streetcar. ( BILL SIEL )

Streetcar Takeover


One of Kenosha’s streetcars was put into service during the lunch hour on Friday for a Young Professionals Week event.

The lunchtime workshop, presented by Downtown Kenosha Inc. executive director Christopher Nauman, gave an overview of the state of Kenosha’s downtown. It was one of the last events of YP Week in Kenosha.

The event was organized by YLink (Young Leaders in Kenosha), an organization created to bring together young professionals in the Kenosha area. Its goal is to connect, retain and foster professional growth among young professionals in the community.

Nathan Koopmeiners ( )

The Ladder: ‘Koop’ joins Prime Realty


Nathan Koopmeiners is a new Realtor with Prime Realty in Kenosha. A resident of Kenosha for 16 years, he is know as “Koop” to his friends and associates. He followed an enlistment in the U.S. Navy with a civilian career at Naval Station Great Lakes.

He gained an interest in real estate as the child of parents who were house “flippers” before the term existed, he said.

Haley Willis is a new program assistant at the University of Wisconsin-Parkside Small Business Development Center. She will assist the center in social media and marketing of the SBDC, as well as administrative duties. She is active on campus through her participation on the Parkside cross country and track teams.

KABA conducting out-of-county commuter study

The Kenosha Area Business Alliance is seeking responses to a survey from those who commute out of Kenosha County for work.

As part of an ongoing regional labor market study that KABA is conducting, the organization is seeking information about the occupations, work preferences, education levels, career objectives and commuting patterns of those who live in Kenosha County but work outside of the county.

The brief, anonymous survey takes about five minutes to complete. It is available online at

The Coffee Pot sports a new exterior look, with its former white siding now replaced with a stylish maroon exterior. It's one of just dozens of the signs of spring popping up all over Kenosha. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY REX DAVENPORT )

The Agenda: Signs of spring and renewal sprout all around Kenosha


Many of my neighbors felt a degree of confidence last weekend — confidence that winter is officially in the rearview mirror.

Many of them, myself included, pulled the snowblower onto the driveway and ran off the remaining gas. The machines can now be pushed into their summer homes in a deep corner of the garage.

I also welcomed the 2016 invasion of dandelions to my yard, another sure sign of spring.

Young professionals week to include events in Kenosha County

YP Week Wisconsin aims to help empower young professionals to discover the benefits of working in Kenosha County.

Young Leaders in Kenosha plans a week of activities to highlight Kenosha’s assets to the 40 and under demographic.

YP Week, which runs today through April 30, provides a weeklong series of events focusing on discovery, adventure and meaningful conversations about the issues that matter to young professionals in the Kenosha area and throughout the state.

Paul Ryan, Speaker of the House, speaks at KABA's annual business meeting Friday at Snap-on. ( BILL SIEL )

Ryan highlights recent successes at KABA luncheon


Speaker of the House Paul Ryan was the keynote speaker for Friday’s KABA luncheon. His remarks were generally nonpartisan and focused on recent success in Congress that have not made headlines.

Ryan explained that over recent years, power in Congress had become concentrated. “It was short-circuiting the system to the point that policy makers could not express themselves well in a bottom-up kind of decision-making you would expect from the House of Representatives,” he told the audience.

“We've made some pretty good progress in half a year,” Ryan said. “What can we get done for our constituents and the country in the divided government that we have? I don't agree with the President on many things. Personally, we get along just fine. But, with a liberal president and a conservative Congress, what can we get done?

KABA reports on 2015 efforts

In its newly released annual report, the Kenosha Area Business Alliance Inc., touted a number of success stories that paint an encouraging business picture of both the recent past and the near future for the county. The report was one of the highlights of a luncheon Friday at the Snap-on Idea Forge.

“We spent the better past of last year focusing on how we attract, assist and grow business. It's been a fantastic year again for Kenosha economic development,” KABA president Todd Battle told the luncheon audience.

Among KABA's 2015 achievements and programs highlighted by Battle were:

Job Center poised to help Unified Solutions employees

The Kenosha Job Center, a unit of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce development, is poised to offer rapid response job services to employees of Pleasant Prairie’s Unified Solutions Inc.

Job Center Manager Doug Bartz said while he has not had an opportunity to touch base with Unified the Job Center will meet with the company to offer rapid response services and assess the situation.

Unified, a packaging firm, in compliance with state law, on April 19 notified the DWD that it was selling its assets and inventory to Kem Krest, LLC, an Elkhart, Ind.-based supply chain and fulfillment services provider,

Job Center poised to help Unified Solutions employees

The Kenosha Job Center, a unit of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce development, is poised to offer rapid response job services to employees of Pleasant Prairie’s Unified Solutions Inc.

Job Center Manager Doug Bartz said while he has not had an opportunity to touch base with Unified the Job Center will meet with the company to offer rapid response services and assess the situation.

Unified, a packaging firm, in compliance with state law, on April 19 notified the DWD that it was selling its assets and inventory to Kem Krest, LLC, an Elkhart, Ind.-based supply chain and fulfillment services provider,

Snap-on Inc. CEO Nick Pinchuk, photographed at a 2011 annual meeting, delivered a positive first-quarter 2016 earnings report on Thursday. ( KENOSHA NEWS FILE PHOTO BY BILL SIEL )

Snap-on delivers positive earnings report


Snap-on Inc. rode the strong performance of its tools group to generate first-quarter net earnings of $128.3 million, a 16.1 percent increase over last year.

The Kenosha-based professional equipment manufacturer reported sales of $834.2 million, a $6.4 million increase over sales for the first quarter 2015 level, according to a report released Thursday.

Net earnings per share were $2.16, compared with $1.87 for the same period a year ago. Snap-on stock closed at $160.20 per share on Thursday.

Sports Physical Therapists owner Carmelo Tenuta talks about what his business has to offer, including a bright, cheerful environment, which he notes plays a major role in a patient's recovery process. ( KEVIN POIRIER )

Carmelo Tenuta is back in the PT game


The answer: yes. The answer is also: no.

The deal did not work out the way Tenuta had expected. “We merged with a group and (expected) to take on more responsibility with the group we merged with,” Tenuta explained. “Within seven or eight months of the merger, they sold the business and our management contracts were null and void. It was difficult to sit on the sidelines.”

His other businesses kept him engaged, he said. LivingWell Medical sells lifts, scooters and a wide range of products and services designed to help people stay in their homes as they age. He also owns Occupro, a software company that serves the physical therapy profession.

Juice is bottled at Good Foods Group in Pleasant Prairie. ( KENOSHA NEWS PHOTO BY SEAN KRAJACIC )

Good move for Good Foods


It was a move company officials said allows them to expand their product line and build the company brand.

A producer of branded foods and private label guacamole, dips, salads and cold-pressed juices, Good Foods joins a growing fraternity of food industry firms that have established operations in Kenosha County.

It has done so partly through the efforts of a partnership that includes the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., the Kenosha Area Business Alliance, the industry trade group Food and Beverage-Wisconsin and other economic development organizations.

Kenosha County a growing center for food production

When the Atlanta-based Gourmet Foods International, a specialty cheeses and gourmet foods company, announced earlier this year plans to open a Kenosha facility, it joined a growing list of food industry firms in the region.

While GFI has wanted a Wisconsin presence to be closer to many of its Midwestern markets, it especially wanted to be identified with Wisconsin because of a friendly business environment and because it is known for its cheese and dairy products production, said Adam Tarantur, a principal with commercial real estate broker Podolsky Circle-CORFAC International.

“When this property became available, we felt it was the perfect opportunity for GFI to acquire a modern asset that allows them to put down roots right away while also giving them significant future expansion capabilities,” said Tarantur.

The Ladder: Acupuncture & Wellness of Wisconsin opens doors

Acupuncture & Wellness of Wisconsin, 3917 47th Ave., opened earlier this year, but officially cuts a ribbon on Monday.

Owner and practitioner Laura E. Cox is a licensed acupuncturist and licensed massage therapist. She holds a master’s degree in Oriental medicine as well as a bachelor’s degree in nutrition.

Cox is also a certified AcuDetox Specialist, and has studied the use of essential oils and crystals.

The Agenda: How about less bickering and a bit more quiet cooperation?

Why do land developers like Kenosha County and its villages, towns and the city of Kenosha?

There’s a list of good reasons. Our home has offered an abundance of land (especially west of Green Bay Road). And, mostly cooperative elected officials have drooled over the prospect of new jobs and property tax revenues.

We can argue over a beer sometime about how realistic those hopes are when communities provide millions of dollars in tax relief or actual cash money to some of the bigger companies. Does that math ever work out for the towns, county or city?

Young professional events come to Kenosha, Racine

YPWeek Wisconsin 2016, held April 23-30, will include events in Kenosha and Racine.

YPWeek is a series of events and gatherings that focus on issues that matter to young professionals in Wisconsin.

“YPWeek brings together key leaders in the community, at purposefully chosen locations that integrate the unique cultural assets with meaningful learning or social interaction,” notes the event's website. “The activities engage the millennial workforce in experiences that are important ... while educating employers on the important role these functions play in retaining you as their workforce.”

The Ladder: Chiropractic + Wellness moves to new location

Dr. Amy Foerster of Chiropractic +Wellness has relocated to a new location. The clinic held a ribbon cutting on March 17. A native of Union, Foerster graduated from Central High School and played four years of college volleyball on a full athletic scholarship. She received a bachelor’s of science degree in biology from Michigan Technological University in 1999. Foerster completed her doctorate of chiropractic in 2003 from Logan College of Chiropractic.

Lindsey M. White of Kenosha has joined Probst Law Offices of Wauwatosa as an associate attorney. She practices a full range of family law including divorce, separation, child support, custody, adoptions and guardianships. Her estate planning work encompasses wills, trusts and powers of attorney.

White is a graduate of Thomas M. Cooley Law School at Western Michigan University. She holds a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. She has served as municipal prosecutor for the Village of Fontana.

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