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Sealed Air to move 300 jobs from Sturtevant to Charlotte
July 23, 2014 10:46 AM
Sealed Air Corp. announced today that it will move its headquarters and 1,300 jobs, including all 300 from its Sturtevant office, to Charlotte, N.C.

The company, which is currently headquartered in Elmwood Park, N.J., acquired Sturtevant-based sanitation solutions firm Diversey Holdings Inc. in 2011. At the time, Diversey had 10,000 employees and net sales of $3.1 billion.

“There will be a number of relocations offered,” said Ken Aurichio, executive director of corporate communications for Sealed Air. “We’re still taking a look at some of the design, but there will be a large number of relocations that are offered.”

Employees that don’t want to relocate to Charlotte will have about a year to transition, he said.

“We will be beginning our move sometime in mid-2015,” Aurichio said. “We’re also going to see if there’s an opportunity to build a satellite office so employees can have a little more time.”

The other impacted locations are Elmwood Park, Saddle Brook, N.J., Danbury, Conn., and Duncan and Greenville, S.C. A “small number” of jobs will also be relocated from other locations. The Saddle Brook and Danbury manufacturing facilities will remain open, and certain operations will continue in Duncan.

“We are confident Charlotte will provide a great environment for us to operate and grow our business moving forward,” said Jerome Peribere, president and chief executive officer of Sealed Air. “This move will contribute to a stronger, one-company culture that will enable greater collaboration, efficiencies, and better use of our investments in people and new technologies.”

“We considered numerous criteria in making our decision,” Peribere said. “We believe Charlotte’s many attributes, including its solid economy and its reputation for business friendliness, technology and innovation, make it an ideal place for our employees to live and work.”

Sealed Air has 25,000 employees worldwide and reported $7.7 billion in revenue last year. The company develops food packaging, shipping, cleaning and hygiene solutions.

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Sherman takes helm of Alverno’s School of Business
July 23, 2014 11:46 AM
Alverno College has welcomed Eileen Sherman, Ph.D., as dean of its School of Business, the institution announced today.

Sherman, who has 21 years of experience in higher education, officially started her new role on July 7, succeeding Dan Horton, who retired from Alverno after nearly three years leading its School of Business.

Alverno, which is located in Milwaukee, selected Sherman from a pool of 50 applicants and four serious candidates, according to Kathleen O’Brien, senior vice president for Academic Affairs.

The college was impressed with the breadth of Sherman’s experience in academia, health care and business, O’Brien said.

“We are thrilled to have Eileen join us as the new dean of the School of Business,” O’Brien said. “She brings a wealth of higher education and business experience to her new role that will help the school further refine its strategic vision and continue to develop graduates who can provide significant value to their employers.”
Prior to joining Alverno’s School of Business, Sherman was an associate dean in the undergraduate school of Cardinal Stritch University’s College of Business and Management as well as an associate professor.

During her tenure at Cardinal Stritch, located in Milwaukee, Sherman guided the strategies and operations behind the university’s adult accelerated and traditional undergraduate business programs. She was also responsible for devising and improving curriculum for associate-level through master-level coursework for non-traditional students.

She has also taught at Marquette University and at the Medical College of Wisconsin, both in Milwaukee.

Additionally, her career has included experience in health care administration and business ownership, according to O’Brien.

Sherman completed her Bachelor of Science degree from Worcester State College in Worcester, Mass. She earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Boston University and a doctorate in organizational behavior from Marquette University.

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MU Law poll: Walker and Burke still neck and neck
July 23, 2014 12:36 PM
The new Marquette University Law School Poll shows that Gov. Scott Walker and Democratic challenger Mary Burke are still neck and neck in the race for governor.

Among registered voters, Walker holds an edge with 46 percent to Burke's 45 percent. But among registered voters likely to vote, Burke garnered 47 percent and Walker 46 percent of respondents' support.

The new poll was conducted from July 17 to 20 and included 804 registered voters. Of the respondents, 549 said they were likely to vote in the November election.

In the May poll, both Walker and Burke held 46 percent among registered voters, and Walker led Burke 48 percent to 45 percent among likely voters.

Both ways of looking at the results of the poll are within the margins of error, which are 3.5 percentage points for the full sample and 4.3 percentage points among likely voters, said Charles Franklin, poll director.

Partisanship remains strong, with 93 percent of Republicans supporting Walker and 88 percent of Democrats backing Burke. Independents were split 45-44 in favor of Walker, in contrast to 49-40 in Walker's favor in May.

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DWD awards grants to Gateway and Waukesha County Technical Colleges
July 23, 2014 12:14 PM
Gateway Technical College has received nearly $1.9 million in Wisconsin Fast Forward grant funding, while Waukesha County Technical College has been allocated close to $1.7 million, Wisconsin’s Department of Workforce Development announced today.

The two technical colleges were awarded portions of a grant initiative totaling more than $28 million that Gov. Scott Walker announced last week.

According to Walker’s announcement, Wisconsin is distributing more than $28 million in Wisconsin Fast Forward grants to the Wisconsin Technical College System to train more than 4,900 workers.

That system encompasses 16 schools, including Gateway Technical College in Kenosha and Waukesha County Technical College in Pewaukee.

At Gateway Technical College, grant dollars will support the training of a maximum 756 workers in several “high-demand areas,” the DWD said. Those areas touch disciplines in manufacturing, business management, apprenticeship, education, health care and more.

At Waukesha County Technical College, up to 168 workers will benefit from grant dollars. Workers will be trained for careers in manufacturing, education and human services, and applied science fields.

Transportation, distribution and logistics training will also be covered under the grants.

“These grant dollars will significantly impact the journey of our students pursuing high-demand programs such as welding, computer numerical control (CNC), early childhood education and transportation, and in turn benefit our local economy,” said Kaylen Betzig, interim president of Waukesha County Technical College. “We are pleased and honored that the governor recognizes WCTC’s work as an important and valuable investment.”

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Water Council to get part of $30 million JPMorgan grant
July 23, 2014 11:52 AM
The Water Council is one of 10 nonprofit cluster organizations in the country included in a five-year, $30 million grant from JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The Milwaukee-based Water Council integrates freshwater research, innovation, education and business development with the goal of making the city a global water technology hub.

The other organizations included in the grant are: the University of Missouri-Kansas City’s Free Enterprise Center; LA Cleantech in Los Angeles; the New Jersey Innovation Institute in Newark, N.J.; the New Orleans BioInnovation Center; QB3 in San Francisco; Washington Interactive Network in Seattle; and BioSTL in St. Louis.

JPMorgan will not release the amount invested in each of the organizations until later this year, a spokesman said.

The grants, part of a new JPMorgan program called Small Business Forward SM, works to connect entrepreneurs with the critical resources to help their businesses grow, create jobs and strengthen communities. It specifically targets high-growth economic “clusters” that work with small businesses in a particular sector.

The organizations will use the grants to provide small businesses with networking, educational partnerships, workforce management training, supplier networks and export promotion.

“Beyond their vital role in our economy, small businesses are often the source of innovation and inspiration,” said Scott Geller, chief executive officer of Chase Business Banking. “Helping local, small business clusters grow faster and create more jobs will take JPMorgan Chase’s involvement in the entrepreneurial community to a new level.”

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Pettit Center renews Olympic status
July 23, 2014 11:59 AM
The Pettit National Ice Center in Milwaukee has renewed its agreement with the United State Olympic Committee and U.S. Speedskating to serve as an official U.S. Olympic training site.

High potential speedskaters will continue to train at the Pettit and national U.S. speedskating competitions will be held at the facility as part of the agreement, which runs through April 30, 2018.

The Pettit opened in December 1992, and was one of the first facilities in the country to earn the Olympic Training Site designation.

“The U.S. Olympic Committee is pleased to continue our long-standing Training Site relationship with The Pettit National Ice Center,” said Alicia McConnell, director of training sites and community partnerships for the U.S. Olympic Committee. “The Pettit Center’s commitment to Team USA and U.S. Speedskating will allow future generations of speedskaters to follow in the footsteps of a long line of Olympic champions that have trained and competed at the Pettit National Ice Center.”

Of the 80 U.S. speedskating medals that have been awarded in the Olympic Winter Games since 1960, 70 have gone to skaters who trained or competed at the Pettit Center and its predecessor the Outdoor Olympic Oval. The Pettit also offers recreational and developmental skating, hockey, figure skating and a run/walk track for the general public.

“We are proud of the Center’s legacy of supporting medal-winning speedskaters for more than 21 years at the Center and nearly 50 years on this site when including the Outdoor Oval,” said Randy Dean, Executive Director.  “We are honored to have an important role in returning US speedskaters to the podium for the Games in 2018 and beyond.”

“The Pettit Center plays an incredibly important role in the development of Olympic speedskating in the United States,” said Ted Morris, executive director at U.S. Speedskating. “We are thrilled the USOC continues to recognize the significance of the Pettit Center.”

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Milwaukee Biz Blog: Call to executives to speak at Get Smarter Conference
July 23, 2014 12:23 PM
BizTimes is asking 10 experienced executives to share their wisdom and lessons learned with the next generation at the 2014 BizTimes Get Smarter Conference.
Read more in today’s Milwaukee Biz Blog by Steve Jagler, executive editor.

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Morning Headlines: New program to help seed up to 100 Wisconsin companies
July 23, 2014 12:02 PM
The managers of the new Badger Fund of Funds say they can take $25 million of state money and turn it into as much as $100 million that could help build 100 companies around Wisconsin over the next few years.

Read more in today’s Wisconsin Morning Headlines.

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Real Estate Weekly: Ryan Cos. plans spec industrial building in Menomonee Falls
July 23, 2014 12:04 PM
Minneapolis-based Ryan Companies U.S. Inc. plans to build a 158,292-square-foot speculative industrial building between Old Orchard Road and Westbrook Crossing, south of Nightingale Way in Menomonee Falls.

Read more in today’s Real Estate Weekly.

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City Council approves ‘living wage’ ordinance
July 22, 2014 05:52 PM
The Milwaukee Common Council today adopted an ordinance establishing a minimum hourly wage of $10.10 for all city employees and employees paid under city service contracts.
 
The $10.10 rate will be in effect for this year, and will then increase to $10.80 per hour - as adjusted by the City Clerk on March 1, 2015 - to what will be the federal U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ guideline for a family of 3.5 in the 48 contiguous states.

Alderman Ashanti Hamilton, chair of the Council’s Judiciary and Legislation Committee, and the primary sponsor of the ordinance, said the city’s previous living wage was at $9.51 per hour - the poverty guideline for a family of three. He said the Council considers the wage approved today and the bump to $10.80 next year a significant increase over the next two years.

“Approving this ‘living wage ordinance,’ as it has been called, was the right thing to do,” Hamilton said. “The council and the city are taking a proactive and positive approach to ensuring decent pay for our workers. Our city is one of the poorest large cities in the U.S., and it is our duty as city leaders to help improve the lives of our citizens, and establishing this minimum wage requirement for city workers and others working on city-related and supported projects is just one way we can help fight back against poverty while helping working families.

Alderman Nik Kovac, chair of the Council’s Finance and Personnel Committee and a co-sponsor of the wage measure, said for far too many Milwaukeeans, working full-time also means living in poverty.

“No one who works full-time should be doing so at a rate that will leave their family in poverty,” Kovac said. “The average family size in the Milwaukee area is 3.3, so by raising the minimum for every person who works for a company which contracts with the city to a rate consistent with a family size bigger than our average, we are increasing the buying power and quality of life for workers – and the children of workers – in Milwaukee.”

Alderwoman Milele A. Coggs, a member of the Council’s Finance and Personnel Committee and also a co-sponsor of the measure, said the council’s action today is in step with President Barack Obama’s national move to increase the minimum wage. “With additional money in their pockets workers can buy more goods and services, which helps their families and also helps stimulate our local economy,” she said.
The other co-sponsors of the ordinance included: Alderman Michael Murphy; Alderman Robert  Bauman; Alderman Tony Zielinski; Alderman Russell Stamper II; and Alderman José Pérez.


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Common Council lifts cap on taxi permits
July 22, 2014 12:02 PM
The Milwaukee Common Council voted unanimously today to eliminate the city's cap on taxi cab permits.

Currently the city caps the number of taxi cab permits at 420.

The move will enable drivers for tech-based ride sharing services, like Uber and Lyft, to obtain permits to operate legally in the city.

They have been operating in violation of the law.

But despite the elimination of the taxi cab permit cap, Uber and Lyft opposed the new ordinance approved today because they want to operate without any permit or regulation, including background checks and vehicle inspections by the city.

"This measure has been written to protect special interests (the taxi lobby) and limit your access to safe, affordable and friendly ridesharing services," said Startup Milwaukee in a blog post Monday in support of Uber and Lyft that encouraged other supporters to contact aldermen.

"Milwaukee residents have made it clear they want more transportation options," Lyft said in a statement. "However, today's action...introduces additional regulatory burdens that will make it more difficult for everyday Milwaukeeans to access the safe rides and economic opportunity that peer-to-peer transportation provides. We urge the City Council to continue the discussion surrounding the benefits of ridesharing and look forward to working with them to find a solution that puts the people of Milwaukee first."

The ordinance states that the fee for each new taxi cab permit will be $284. The fee for renewal of each permit will be $209. Permits must be renewed every two years.

"While the ordinance passed today by the Milwaukee Common Council creates a general framework for rideshare services in Milwaukee, it also creates a barrier for would-be driver partners by requiring them to pay the highest up-front costs in the country," Uber said in a statement. "Uber will work with the city to ensure continued access to affordable, reliable and expanded transportation services for Milwaukee residents."

Cab drivers attending the meeting today cheered the Common Council vote. But the leaders of two businesses that provide dispatch services to Milwaukee taxicabs, Michael Sanfelippo, president of American United Taxicabs Services Inc., and Ali Homamed, president of Yellow Cab Cooperative Inc., expressed opposition to the ordinance in a statement issued Monday.

"When a market becomes flooded with taxicabs, taxi drivers avoid going into neighborhoods for grocery, medical and other shorter, less profitable trips and gravitate toward areas where they have a greater chance of getting longer, more expensive fares. Taxi stands at downtown hotels and other public venues become overcrowded and chaotic with taxis clogging traffic and drivers fighting over fares while the average Milwaukee neighborhood cannot get properly served. While this would translate into more revenue for us, history is crystal clear and has shown that too many taxicabs in a market translates into poor service for customers and an inability for drivers to earn a living wage," Sanfelippo and Homamed said in the statement.

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Microbial Discovery Group expands facility
July 22, 2014 12:05 PM
Microbial Discovery Group LLC has expanded its Franklin facility and is in the process of hiring seven new employees to meet demand for microbial-based products and solutions.

The $500,000 expansion included a 3,500-square-foot addition of laboratory and office space and a renovation of 2,500 square feet of existing office space, said Michael King, chief executive officer. The facility also has another 14,000 square feet of space where fermentation production takes place, and is renting 4,000 square feet of space to handle product overflow.

The additional space and new equipment will allow the company to accelerate its rate of technology development in the fields of microbiology and molecular biology discovery.

MDG has added two microbiologists, an administrator and additional interns in the expanded space. It is also in the process of hiring two scientists, a production manager and a regulatory/international registration specialist. MDG plans to add 40 percent more staff over the next couple of years, according to King.

MDG was founded in 2007 at the current location, 5200 W. Ashland Way in Franklin. It isolates novel microbial strains that solve environmental concerns and completes large-scale manufacturing of environmentally-safe microbials for commercial applications.

“As MDG continues to scale-up to meet demand, the number of team members has grown from three to 20 employees, making this expansion an absolute necessity,” King said.

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Christensen to retire from Children’s Hospital
July 22, 2014 12:08 PM
Cindy Christensen will retire on Dec. 31 as president of Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin and executive vice president of Children’s Hospital and Health System after more than 25 years of service.

“Cindy’s dedication to the lives of children and to the people of Children’s Hospital never wavers,” said Peggy Troy, chief executive officer of Children’s Hospital and Health System. “Under her leadership, Children’s has grown in quality, reputation, number of children served and scope of our mission.”

Christensen, 61, has been a major contributor in the establishment of Children’s as one of the nation’s top pediatric health systems, leading initiatives that transformed Children’s from a community hospital into one of the top-ranked systems in the country. Christensen served as legal counsel during the formation of Children’s Specialty Group, the joint specialty practice with the Medical College of Wisconsin, made up of more than 70 programs treating a variety of childhood diagnoses. She was instrumental in the acquisition of Children’s Service Society of Wisconsin, which provides community services programs throughout the state. She was the chief operating officer during the opening of the new patient care tower in 2009. She drove regional strategy in the Fox Valley and metro Milwaukee, and expanded the hospital’s research footprint. From 1981 to 1986, Christensen was a nurse manager in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit and Emergency Department of the hospital when it was located at 18th Street and Wisconsin Avenue. Before rejoining Children’s in 1990 as the health system’s first general counsel, she was an attorney with Otjen, Van Ert & Weir, SC, Milwaukee.

Marc Gorelick, M.D., currently executive vice president of Children’s Hospital, will retain that position and also succeed Christensen in her role as chief operating officer, effective Jan. 1, 2015.

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Marquette organizes search committee to find new athletic director
July 22, 2014 12:13 PM
Marquette University has formed a search committee to oversee the appointment of a new vice president and director of athletics, a position the Milwaukee school hopes to fill by the end of the fall semester.

Currently, Bill Cords is serving as interim vice president and director of athletics. Cords, who headed Marquette’s athletics programs from 1987 to 2006, took over for Larry Williams following his resignation from the leadership post last December.

In a letter that Marquette University President Michael Lovell, Ph.D., wrote to the campus community earlier this month, he announced that Bill Henk, Ph.D., dean of the College of Education, will chair the search committee for a new vice president and director of athletics. Henk has been a dean and a professor of literacy at Marquette for the past 10 years.

The committee is also comprised of Marquette faculty members Sarah Bonewits Feldner, Ph.D., associate professor of communication studies; Richard Jones, Ph.D., professor of social and cultural sciences and NCAA Faculty Athletics Representative; Danielle Josetti, associate athletics director, compliance; Dr. Carolyn Smith, executive director, Marquette University Medical Clinic; Todd Smith, director of sports performance; and Owen Sullivan, a member of the Marquette University Board of Trustees and a retired executive of Right Management, Jefferson Wells, and ManpowerGroup Specialty Brands.

The search is beginning this summer with help from the executive search firm Korn Ferry and a website created specifically for the recruiting process.

Lovell’s recent letter also addressed the search for a university provost and for a dean of the College of Business Administration. Marquette plans to launch its search for a provost at the start of the school year, with John Su, Ph.D., professor of English, director of the University Core of Common Studies, and member of the University Academic Senate, serving as chair of the process.

The pursuit of a dean of the College of Business Administration will take flight about a month after the search for a new provost begins so that the provost can weigh in on the selection, Lovell wrote. Michael Akers, Ph.D., professor and chair of accounting, and Joseph Daniels, Ph.D., professor and chair of economics, will co-chair the search committee for the business school’s new dean.

Currently, Margaret Faut Callahan, Ph.D., dean of the College of Nursing, is serving as interim provost of the university. Mark Eppli, Ph.D., is Interim James H. Keyes Dean of Business Administration.

Additionally, Marquette is in the process of establishing a search committee to replace Robert Bishop, Ph.D., former dean of the College of Engineering. Bishop resigned earlier this month to become dean of the University of South Florida’s College of Engineering. Kristina Ropella, Ph.D., executive associate dean, is filling in as interim dean during the leadership transition.

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Harley revenue up, shipments down
July 22, 2014 12:15 PM
Milwaukee-based Harley-Davidson Inc. today reported second quarter net income of $354.2 million, or $1.62 per share, up from $271.7 million, or $1.21 per share, in the second quarter of 2013.

Revenue was $1.8 billion, up from $1.6 billion in the same period a year ago.

Dealers sold 90,218 motorcycles worldwide in the second quarter, up from 90,193 in the second quarter of 2013. U.S dealer sales were 58,225, down from 58,241 in the same period a year prior, which the company attributed to a prolonged harsh winter. As a result, the company has lowered its new motorcycle shipment guidance for the full year. It previously planned to ship 279,000 to 284,000 motorcycles to dealers worldwide, but now plans to ship 270,000 to 275,000 bikes.

Higher motorcycle shipments and higher gross margin contributed to a 32.3 percent increase in operating income from motorcycles and related products, to $473.3 million. And revenue from motorcycles also grew, up 16.2 percent to $1.5 billion.

"Harley-Davidson's second-quarter results reflect the financial strength of the company and brand, including the benefits of continuous improvement throughout our operation," said Keith Wandell, chairman, president and chief executive officer. "As a customer-led organization, our employees, dealers in 90 countries and suppliers are focused every day on providing outstanding products and experiences for customers around the world."

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