Monday, April 14, 2014
Thermo Fisher to transfer Brown Deer facility operations to California
April 14, 2014 11:00 AM
Thermo Fisher Scientific is permanently closing its Brown Deer facility, affecting 54 employees.

The company is transferring operations of its Transplant Diagnostics business in Brown Deer to an existing facility in Canoga Park, Calif.

In a statement, the company said:

"This move consolidates operations of the company's Transplant Diagnostics business into a single site in North America. The company expects the transfer to be completed by the end of 2015…This decision is not a reflection on the quality of work of our employees in Brown Deer. We recognize that this will be a challenging and difficult period for the 54 employees who are affected, and we will do everything possible to support them through the transition. This includes identifying potential opportunities in other Thermo Fisher businesses, assisting employees in finding jobs outside the company and providing competitive severance benefits. Most importantly, we are committed to timely communication and treating employees with dignity and respect. It is important to note that Thermo Fisher operations in Wisconsin supporting other product lines are not directly impacted by this decision."

The company said the facility, at 9099 N. Deerbrook Trail, will close by Dec. 31, 2015, and employees will be terminated over the course of the next 18 months, with the first set of terminations occurring by Dec. 31, 2014.

The company said some of the employees will be offered the opportunity to transfer to other facilities prior to the Brown Deer facility's closing.

Waltham, Mass.-based Thermo Fisher makes analytical instruments, equipment, reagents and software for the science industry. According to the company website, it has 50,000 employees in 50 countries. The company was created in 2006 by the merger of Thermo Electron and Fisher Scientific.

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Sprecher Brewing wins medals at 2014 World Beer Cup
April 14, 2014 11:00 AM
Two beers from Glendale-based Sprecher Brewing Company have won medals in the 2014 World Beer Cup, an international beer competition held in Denver, Colo.
Sprecher announced that Black Bavarian, its signature beer, won a gold medal in the German-style Scwarzbier category. The beer beat out 46 other entries to win its first World Cup medal.

“We’re happy Black Bavarian got the recognition it deserves, said Sprecher brewmaster Craig Burge. 

Shakparo, a West African-style beer, also won a bronze medal, beating out 17 other entries in the Gluten-Free beer category.

“Shakparo winning a bronze medal is icing on the cake,” said Randy Sprecher.

The 2014 World Beer Cup Awards drew the highest number of entries to date, according to the Brewers Association, with 4,754 beers from 1,403 breweries representing 58 countries.

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Johnson Controls wins sustainability award for Micro Hybrid battery
April 14, 2014 11:00 AM
Glendale-based Johnson Controls received the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council’s “Sustainable Product of the Year" award for its Micro Hybrid battery. The battery, developed at its Glendale headquarters, is a Lithium-ion based system that works in tandem with the conventional starter battery to cut a vehicle’s fuel consumption by as much as 15 percent, the company said. “We are excited to bring to market an energy storage solution that helps automakers meet increasing fuel economy and emissions restrictions, helps consumers save money at the pump, and supports sustainability by reducing each driver’s carbon footprint,” said MaryAnn Wright, global vice president for engineering and product development at Johnson Controls Power Solutions. The Micro Hybrid was selected from 31 entries. “We were thoroughly impressed by the magnitude and depth of sustainable work being done by companies in Wisconsin,” said Tom Eggert, executive director of the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council. “The Micro Hybrid from Johnson Controls exemplifies innovative, sustainable, economically viable product development taking place in this state.”
The battery, developed at Johnson Controls' Glendale headquarters, is a Lithium-ion based system that works in tandem with the conventional starter battery to cut a vehicle’s fuel consumption by as much as 15 percent, the company said.

“We are excited to bring to market an energy storage solution that helps automakers meet increasing fuel economy and emissions restrictions, helps consumers save money at the pump, and supports sustainability by reducing each driver’s carbon footprint,” said MaryAnn Wright, global vice president for engineering and product development at Johnson Controls Power Solutions.

The Micro Hybrid was selected from 31 entries.

“We were thoroughly impressed by the magnitude and depth of sustainable work being done by companies in Wisconsin,” said Tom Eggert, executive director of the Wisconsin Sustainable Business Council. “The Micro Hybrid from Johnson Controls  exemplifies innovative, sustainable, economically viable product development taking place in this state.”

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Experts will provide market strategy at M&A Forum
April 14, 2014 10:00 AM
The 2014 BizTimes M&A Forum will be held on Friday, May 2, to offer professional insight for those who are considering buying or selling a business. The forum will take place from 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. at the Milwaukee Marriott Downtown in Milwaukee.
The theme of this year’s event is “The Market is Active—Strategize Accordingly.”

The Forum will review  mergers and acquisitions trends, advice for maximizing value, strategies for handling unsolicited offers, integration tips and more.

Howard Lanser, managing director, Mergers & Acquisitions and Debt Advisory at Milwaukee-based Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc., will be the keynote speaker at the M&A Forum. Lanser serves as a senior M&A execution specialist and heads the firm's M&A Debt Advisory practice. He has more than 15 years of experience originating and executing financing and M&A advisory assignments in a diverse range of industry sectors, including industrial, consumer products, for-profit education, corporate training, human capital services and health care services. His clients have ranged from public multinational corporations to private, growth-oriented middle-market firms.

The M&A Forum will also feature a panel discussion about best practices and emerging trends from the perspectives of buyers, sellers and professional advisors.

The featured panelists will include: David Strand, president and chief executive officer of Wisconsin Oven Corp., Jeff Beischel, founding partner/managing director at Wing Capital Group, Brian Dunsirn, chairman and CEO of Dunsirn Partners and Greg Myers, senior managing director at Mason Wells.

Additional panelists will include Corey Vanderpoel of Schenck M&A Solutions, Eric Lenzen of Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek S.C. and Peter Ruud.

Four breakout sessions will follow the panel. The topics are:

  • How Strategic M&A Maximizes Value
  • The Art of Business Acquisitions
  • Responding to the Unsolicited Offer
  • Insights for how to make the post buy/sell seamless and successful

For more information and to register for the 2014 M&A Forum, visit

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Joy Global acquires Canadian mining company
April 14, 2014 10:00 AM
Milwaukee-based mining equipment manufacturer Joy Global Inc. has agreed to acquire certain assets of Ontario-based Mining Technologies International Inc. for $46.5 million.

MTI manufactures hard rock mining equipment for underground application, specializing in raise bore drilling consumables. Its customers are across North America.

Joy Global will purchase substantially all of MTI's assets associated with hard rock drilling, loaders, dump trucks, shaft sinking and raise bore product lines. The 2013 revenues for these product lines were about $90 million.

The transaction is expected to close, subject to customary closing conditions, within 90 days. Joy Global expects it will be accretive to 2015 earnings, excluding transaction costs and excess purchase accounting charges.

"This acquisition represents an exciting opportunity as we execute on our growth strategy to expand our underground mining product lines into the hard rock markets including nickel, potash, palladium, platinum, gold and copper," said Ted Doheny, president and chief executive officer of Joy Global. "We believe that MTI's broad range of complementary products, combined with Joy's proprietary technology, our global direct service team and operational excellence capabilities, will provide significant value to hard rock mining customers and our shareholders."

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Local leaders to be inducted into Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame
April 14, 2014 10:00 AM
Exemplary business leaders from across the state, including several from local companies, will be honored at the 2014 Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame induction ceremony and benefit dinner tomorrow.
Nathaniel Zelazo, co-founder of Milwaukee-based aerospace parts manufacturer Astronautics Corp. of America; William Specht, co-founder of Menomonee Falls-based sandwich chain Cousins Submarines Inc. and Terry Growcock, former chairman and chief executive officer of Manitowoc-based crane and foodservice equipment manufacturer The Manitowoc Co. will be honored at the event. Marvin Schuette of Wausau Homes will also be inducted.

Helen Johnson Leipold of Racine-based Johnson Outdoors Inc. will receive the Distinguished Executive Award. Cecelia Gore of the Milwaukee Brewers Foundation will receive the Peak Performer Award. And  Carter Drake of Fort Atkinson-based Dreamscape Landscaping will receive the Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

The event will be held tomorrow evening at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee, and will include more than 500 attendees.

Inductees are chosen based on the impact they have made in Wisconsin through business innovations, effective management and civic involvement. They are also championed as role models for children, and the event raises money for Junior Achievement of Wisconsin, which aims to inspire young people to succeed in a global economy.

“It is our honor to induct these distinguished Laureates into the Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame,” said Tim Greinert, President of Junior Achievement of Wisconsin. “They created better, more productive lives for their employees who became family. Fashioned new and innovative ways of doing business; and set extraordinary goals, and then exceeded them. These Laureates are exceptional role models for Wisconsin’s young people.”

Previous Wisconsin Business Hall of Fame inductees include Robert Harlan of the Green Bay Packers, Pleasant Rowland of American Girl, Frederick Stratton, Jr. of Briggs & Stratton, Richard Teerlink of Harley-Davidson, Inc., John Stollenwerk of Allen Edmonds Shoe Company, Don Schneider of Schneider Trucking, Bud Selig of the Milwaukee Brewers Baseball Club and Oscar Mayer.

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Governor honors female trailblazers
April 14, 2014 10:45 AM
The 2014 Governor’s Trailblazer Awards for Women in Business were presented to 12 woman-owned Wisconsin businesses today.
Local recipients were: Daphne Jones, president of Milwaukee-based Malone’s Fine Sausage Inc., Lauren Schultz, owner of Milwaukee-based Purple Door Ice Cream LLC, Phyllis Mensh Brosthoff and Valerie Stefanich, co-founders of Stowell Associates Inc. in Milwaukee, Jean Johnson, chief executive officer, and Tina Madden, chief financial officer, of Caledonia-based Meetings and Incentives Worldwide, Rosemarie Zingale, president of Sheboygan-based A.J. Wholesale Produce, Gloria Henderson, president of Brookfield-based D&G Insulation, Judie Taylor, president, and Marikris Coryell, executive vice president of Waukesha-based DUECO Inc., Christine Toson Hentges, president of Hartland-based The Tribute Companies Inc. and Ellen Zilli, president of Waukesha-based Zilli Hospitality Group.

“Women-owned businesses are important to our economic recovery, and the talented, motivated women who run these businesses serve as role models to other potential job creators,” Walker said. “Congratulations to the recipients of this year’s Trailblazer Awards; we look forward to your continued success in Wisconsin.”

The annual awards, established in 2007, honor trailblazers who display leadership, promote innovation and create jobs and economic impact in communities across the state. They were nominated through an open process, including business and professional associations, elected officials, friends, colleagues and employees.

“The successful women we celebrate here today are inspirations for the next generation of women to follow their dreams to become entrepreneurs and business leaders,” said Mary Jo Baas, chair of the Wisconsin Women’s Council.

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Gardetto is BizTimes Woman Executive of the Year
April 14, 2014 10:00 AM
Nannette “Nan” Gardetto will receive the 2014 BizTimes Woman Executive of the Year Award.
Gardetto is the owner and chief executive officer of Baptista's Bakery Inc. in Franklin.

Baptista's is a contract manufacturer and product developer of nutritional snack products. The company's customers are large consumer packaged goods companies.

Baptista's has nearly 400 employees and operates in a 260,000-square-foot facility.

Prior to Baptista's, Gardetto worked at her family's business, Gardetto's, beginning in 1975. In 1987, she became executive vice president and led the company until it was sold 1999 to General Mills. At the time of the sale, two Gardetto manufacturing facilities existed. As part of the sale of Gardetto's, one plant was carved out and retained by Nan to house her new business venture, Baptista's Bakery, which was named after her father and grandfather.

Baptista's has been the recipient of many awards for fast growth, including Deloitte's "Top 75 Wisconsin Businesses" award for 2012 and 2013. It also received Deloitte's "Distinguished Performer Award for Entrepreneurship" in 2012.

A resident of Mequon, Gardetto is widowed, has three grown stepchildren and four grandchildren. Through a new relationship, she also is a mother to two teenage children. She currently serves on the boards of directors for several organizations, including Aurora Healthcare, The Blood Center Research Foundation, the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce, the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee and Andis Co.

Previous recipients of the BizTimes Woman Executive of the Year Award have included: Maria Monreal-Cameron, former president and CEO of the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce Wisconsin; former Harley-Davidson Inc. executive Gail Lione; and Dohmen CEO Cynthia LaConte.

Gardetto will receive the award during the BizTimes Women in Business breakfast at the BizExpo on Wednesday, May 21 at Potawatomi Bingo Casino in Milwaukee. To register to attend the Women in Business Breakfast, visit

The breakfast also will include a discussion by a panel of executives, including: Julia Taylor, president of the Greater Milwaukee Committee; Nancy Hernandez, president of ABRAZO Multicultural Marketing & Communication in Milwaukee; Phyllis King, associate vice chancellor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee; and Tami Scully Garrison, community commerce and partnerships manager at MillerCoors in Milwaukee. The panel discussion will be led by Kimberly Kane, president and founder of Kane Communications Group.

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Sensient names new flavors president
April 14, 2014 10:00 AM
Milwaukee-based Sensient Technologies Corp. has hired Sam Lteif as president of its flavors business.
Lteif will report to Paul Manning, president and chief executive officer of Sensient, and will be responsible for leading the global flavors business.

He has 23 years of consumer packaged goods experience, most recently serving as general manager and chief executive officer of Muller Quaker Dairy, a joint venture between PepsiCo Inc. and Muller Group of Germany. Lteif worked at PepsiCo for 14 years.

“I am very pleased to add an executive of Sam Lteif’s caliber to run Sensient’s Flavors business,” Manning said. “Sam brings a customer’s perspective to Sensient and his extensive consumer products experience will help us more effectively execute our strategic shift to value-added customer solutions.”

Sensient has made a number of changes recently following an indication that hedge fund FrontFour Master Fund Ltd. would attempt a hostile board takeover at its April 24 annual meeting of shareholders.

Since FrontFour’s announcement, the color, flavor and fragrance manufacturer has created a new independent lead director position, changed its long-term equity incentive compensation plan and announced a restructuring that will eliminate underperforming operations, improve efficiencies and consolidate manufacturing facilities. It has urged shareholders to reject the takeover attempt.

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Rockline continues expansion plan
April 14, 2014 10:00 AM
Sheboygan-based Rockline Industries, one of the world's largest private-label manufacturers of consumer wet wipes and coffee filters, has announced that it has acquired a 240,000-square-foot facility on a 30-acre site in Russellville, Ark. to continue its expansion plans.
In October, the company announced it will build an 18,000-square-foot state-of-the-art Innovation and Technical Center adjacent to its corporate headquarters in Sheboygan. It will include laboratories with microbiological and analytical chemistry capabilities and pilot line converting equipment.

The Arkansas site, the company’s third in the state, will perform contract manufacturing of private label products, for which consumer demand has been growing, the company said. 

Rockline currently has four U.S. manufacturing facilities in Sheboygan, Arkansas and New Jersey. It also has international operations in England and South China. Rockline employs about 2,000 people.

“Rockline’s purchase of the Russellville site will help our company better serve the needs of our customers and accommodate our company’s rapid growth in contract manufacturing and private label products,” said Nick Santoleri, vice president of operations.

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MillerCoors hires new Milwaukee brewery leader
April 14, 2014 10:00 AM
Ken Litke has been hired to oversee day-to-day operations at MillerCoors’ Milwaukee brewery.
According to an internal memo, Litke is joining MillerCoors as Vice President of Milwaukee Valley Operations in an “expanded leadership role.” Craig Poupore, director of craft supply chain, will now report to Litke.  

Litke comes to MillerCoors from Arden Hills, Minn.-based Land O’Lakes, where he most recently served as vice president of manufacturing, leading feed and dairy manufacturing across 73 plants.  

Prior to Land O’Lakes, Litke held manufacturing roles at Diageo and Pillsbury. Ken holds a Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering from the University of Minnesota. 

The hire will be effective on April 21.

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Molly Dill This exclusive news bulletin is compiled by BizTimes Milwaukee reporter Dan Shafer. This bulletin is published every Monday morning. Send manufacturing industry news and tips to or call him at (414) 336-7123.

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