By Julia Burns - Co-founder, Pathways High
Unique curriculum at Pathways High addresses local challenges
Inspired by their work with students in Destination Imagination and the documentary, "Most Likely To Succeed," Amber Regan and I created Pathways High, a personalized, project-based high school opening in downtown Milwaukee in August 2017. Diverse by design, Pathways High has enrolled approximately 100 students from varied socioeconomic, racial and ethnic backgrounds from both city and suburban neighborhoods. The goal: to graduate more students fluent in academic, technological and interpersonal skills.
By Steve Baas – MMAC Senior VP of Governmental Affairs
Governor Walker's proposed budget invests more than $6 billion in new money for Wisconsin's transportation infrastructure.
While these investments are a good start, the "perfect storm" of major highways in the state reaching the end of their serviceable lifespans and an under-performing revenue stream into the state Transportation Fund means that, despite this generous levels of spending, some projects still face delay. Most notably for the metro Milwaukee region is the delay of the I-94 East-West between the Zoo Interchange and the Marquette interchange.
With the majority of the truck traffic in Wisconsin going through the Zoo or Marquette interchanges, increasing capacity and safety along the East-West corridor linking them is not only a regional mobility concern but also a statewide economic concern. MMAC is grateful for the generous funding the Governor has proposed in his transportation budget that keeps projects like the reconstruction of the Zoo Interchange and I-94 North-South on track. We will continue to work with the legislature, however, as the budget moves forward to find a sustainable long-term solution to our transportation funding challenges that will allow critical projects like the I-94 East-West to be put back on track without jeopardizing other critical road projects statewide.
By Steve Baas – MMAC Senior VP of Governmental Affairs
Increasing the state share of education funding to its highest level in nearly a decade, Governor Scott Walker introduced his state budget yesterday with a clear focus on building the workforce of Wednesday. Over the biennium, Walker is proposing spending an additional $649 million in state aids for K-12 education and more than $140 million in new funding for the University of Wisconsin System.
Under the Walker proposal, school districts around the state will receive an additional $200 in state funding per pupil in 2017-18 and another $204 increase in 2018-19. In addition to this new funding for school districts, the Governor also increased support for alternative education options in Milwaukee by proposing a $217 per-pupil increases in each year of the biennium for students in the Milwaukee Parental Choice Program and in independent charter schools. Even with these increases, Choice and Charter schools would still receive several thousand dollars less per pupil in taxpayer support than MPS, but the additional funds will help narrow the gap for these schools between the amount of state support they receive and the actual cost of education for their students.
The Governor also is proposing a new incentive program for high-performing or rapidly improving schools in Milwaukee. Under his budget, schools earning one of the two top grades on the state report card or schools that have improved by three grade levels on the report card would be eligible for an additional $100 per pupil in performance bonus funds. Finally, the Governor is proposing $1.4 million each year in summer school grants for MPS.
This week’s budget announcement is only the first step in a budget process that will extend through the legislature over the next 4 months. We are pleased, however, that the initial outline Governor Walker has laid out places such a high priority on the same education issues that our MMAC members consistently tell us are key to our region’s economic success. Click here for the text of the Governor’s Budget Address and to see more details in the Budget in Brief.
Milwaukee-area businesses expressed measured optimism toward 2017 according to MMAC’s annual Business Outlook Survey. Seventy-three percent of those businesses surveyed see sales increases, 71 percent predict profit gains and 61 percent expect employment growth in 2017 for their local operations. (jump rest of article to website)
Metro businesses are generally optimistic toward future business prospects, but expectations suggest a slow start to 2017. Overall, expectations for 2017’s first quarter are significantly lower than those expressed for the calendar year as a whole.
Sales expectations among Milwaukee-area businesses have been consistently moderate over the course of the past year. Seventy-three percent of those surveyed expect increases in real sales levels in 2017. Only 7 percent predict sales declines, while the remainder (21 percent) see no change. The proportion predicting 2017 sales growth is similar to both the 75 percent who began 2016 predicting sales increases for that year as a whole, and the 72 percent who forecast 2017 sales gains just three months ago.
Sales optimism is strongest among manufacturers; 77 percent of manufacturers surveyed predict sales growth in 2017, versus 70 percent among non-manufacturers.
Expectations by employer size are more similar. Seventy-four percent of small employers (with fewer than 100 employees) see 2017 sales gains, while 71 percent of large employers have such expectations.
Manufacturers are also more likely to predict rising profit levels. Eighty-two percent of manufacturers see 2017 profit increases, versus 65 percent among non-manufacturers. Overall, 71 percent of all employers surveyed see profit increases in 2017. Conversely, only 9 percent see declining profit levels. The remaining 20 percent see no change.
2017 Executive Roundtable Platinum Sponsors
CENTRAL OFFICE SYSTEMS
Central Office Systems is a Waukesha based office equipment company that services, supports, and sells digital multifunctional printer scanner copier systems.
Central Office Systems provides HP, Konica Minolta, Kyocera, and Muratec equipment. Our offerings provide significant benefits for all organizations.
• Improve network security
• Improve regulatory compliance
• Improve output quality
• Create significantly better equipment reliability
• Reduce costs
Now that we have all of the important key words in our profile, so the people who try to figure out relevant search terms for SEO rank Central Office Systems properly, let’s cover things in a less formal way.
Central Office Systems sells and services copiers and printers. There are not a lot of local providers for this equipment here in the 7 county area. Many organizations like yours probably put up with sub- standard indifferent service, and crappy equipment, because they just don’t have the time to evaluate every product offering in this category. And they are all the same anyway.
So you send your money out of the area. Maybe you say to yourself, “there has got to be a better alternative,” but, you have a business to run, and the last thing your staff needs to do is evaluate 10,000 different printer and copier companies.
If you would like to keep your money in the 7 county marketplace,(you should because we support 36 different non-profits in Wisconsin, and your business does make a difference to us), work with an organization that actually cares about you, your business, and this community, and a company that actually answers their phone, you should be working with us.
Central Office Systems client service scores beat Nordstrom and Apple by 20 percentage points. We are the local alternative with exceptional equipment, superior service, and a real community impact.
Call Art Flater at 262 436 9230.
CREATIVE BUSINESS INTERIORS
Creative Business Interiors specializes in designing, building, painting and furnishing commercial, educational and healthcare spaces. Our expert staff guides clients through a discovery phase called “programming” to assess your needs current and future. Planning adaptable spaces that fit your business model is our specialty.
From design concepts to on-going facility upkeep, Creative Business Interiors helps our clients attract and retain both customers and top talent. We offer a variety of value-added services including asset management in our climate-controlled warehouse, move management and facility maintenance services.
Each Account Executive has a client-dedicated project manager providing a consistent team for your ongoing interior needs. All field work performed by Creative Business Interiors is done by our own on-staff carpenters, painters and furniture installers.
If you have questions about how we could help you design, build, paint or furnish your space, please feel free to reach out to me by phone, email or view our website for more information.
Gary Zimmerman Jr.
President / CEO
NATIONAL EXCHANGE BANK & TRUST
National Exchange Bank & Trust is honored to be a 2017 Council of Small Business Executives Platinum Sponsor.
National Exchange Bank & Trust is an independent, family-owned financial institution that has been held in high regard as one of the highest rated financial institutions in the Midwest for many years. The bank has proudly served Southeastern Wisconsin since 1933. Our performance is supported by a strong balance sheet, prudent asset management, a strong commitment to community investment as a consistent leader in lending to homeowners and businesses, and an experienced team of bankers with an outstanding reputation.
In September 2016, National Exchange Bank & Trust merged with its sister bank, American Bank. The combined bank has $1.8 billion in total assets with 33 locations in Southeastern Wisconsin. The ownership, which did not change, remains committed to our clients, employees and the communities we serve. Please visit Nebat.com for additional information.
Richard S. Hensley
President - Southeast Wisconsin
SVA CERTIFIED PUBLIC ACCOUNTANTS
As a diversified professional services firm with over 40 years of experience, SVA has developed specializations in both industries and services. We, however, have not lost sight of what is at the core of all the unique services we provide – accounting, assurance, tax and business consulting.
Our professional’s recognize businesses rely on accurate, insightful and comprehensive financial information to maintain profitability and succeed in their industry. From start-up businesses to established enterprises, SVA offers a full array of accounting services ensuring accurate record-keeping and reporting from initial accounting system set up to compiling year-end statements.
The SVA Business Advisory Services group specializes in helping business owners improve their company’s performance and reach their business and personal goals. They operate with the understanding every business, organization, industry and individual is unique. Whether you’re just entering the business world and need a trusted advisor to help you get started, or a seasoned veteran looking for a new strategic partner, our extensive range of traditional and specialty services are available to maximize and grow your business.
Our Business Consulting Services include
• Business Management
• Building Company Value
• Fraud and Forensic Services
• Financial Analysis
• Financial Reporting
• Small Business Accounting Software
• Succession Planning
• Retirement Plan Services for Business
To learn more about how the experts at SVA can assist your small business, call Joel Nettesheim at (262) 923-5150, email@example.com or Barb Ecklond at (262) 923-5157, firstname.lastname@example.org.
SVA is proud to be a Platinum sponsor of COSBE events.
2017 CEOs of Growing Businesses Platinum Sponsors
Associated Bank is honored to be a 2017 Platinum sponsor of the CEOs of Growing Businesses. We are proud to partner with the organizations and individuals who make a difference in our community.
Associated Banc-Corp has total assets of $29 billion and is one of the top 50 publicly traded U.S. bank holding companies. Headquartered in Green Bay, Wisconsin, Associated Bank is a leading Midwest banking franchise, offering a full range of financial products and services in over 200 banking locations serving more than 100 communities throughout Wisconsin, Illinois and Minnesota, and commercial financial services in Indiana, Michigan, Missouri, Ohio and Texas.
At Associated Bank, we are committed to exceeding clients’ expectations by earning their loyalty, trust and respect in order to build and maintain deep and lasting relationships.
To learn more about how we can help you and your business, now and in the future, call 262-446-4749 or visit AssociatedBank.com.
Anyone who has ever had a dental problem knows how distracting it can be, making even the basics like eating and talking uncomfortable. Employed adults lose 164 million hours of work each year due to their own oral health problems or dental visits, according to a report by Qualis Health. They’re at an even greater risk of missing work due to their children’s poor oral health.
Business leaders working to keep health benefits costs down and productivity up are increasingly considering dental care as part of the preventive package that drives employee wellness.
When people have dental benefits, they are 2.5 times more likely to visit the dentist, making it more likely that issues can be discovered and treated sooner, and preventing the need for expensive procedures or medical costs.
At Delta Dental of Wisconsin, we know a smile helps promote confidence and is essential to a healthy, productive life. And no one protects smiles like us. With the largest network of dentists nationwide, quick responses and personalized service, we make it easy to keep their smiles healthy.
Learn why more businesses trust Delta Dental of Wisconsin with their dental benefits by calling 888-456-2711 or email email@example.com.
Vice President, Sales & Marketing
Delta Dental of Wisconsin
GODFREY & KAHN
At Godfrey & Kahn, S.C., we believe we succeed when our clients do. We are committed to building strong relationships within our community and are proud to sponsor and support CEOs of Growing Businesses in carrying out its mission.
We serve clients by first understanding their business and needs, and then by offering strategic legal advice and smart, practical solutions to real world problems. We are quick to collaborate to achieve client success and provide efficient and responsive legal services.
We have a diverse and deep client base, ranging from multinational publicly traded and privately held companies to middle market and family-owned businesses. We also have significant experience advising entrepreneurs, their emerging businesses and investors in those businesses. Our clients rely on us to serve as outside general counsel and provide them with an array of business, financial and legal advice to help manage and grow their operations; and to identify, manage and reduce their risk. Whether advising in-house counsel or acting as a client’s outside general counsel, our goal remains the same ─ understand our client’s business and strategic objectives, and work with them to find and implement solutions that will help them be successful and reduce risk.
While many CEOs and entrepreneurs may identify us with our core business practice, we also have significant, broad experience in the areas of Commercial Lending, Environment & Energy Strategies, Estate Planning, Labor & Employment, Litigation, Real Estate and Tax & Employee Benefits.
With six locations across Wisconsin and in Washington D.C., we have made it a point to become an integral part of the communities we serve. We are proud to be strengthening bonds with our community through our affiliation with CEOs of Growing Businesses.
For more information, please visit www.gklaw.com or contact John R. McDonald at 414.287.9442 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Sikich LLP, a dynamic accounting, advisory, investment banking, technology and managed services firm, has been helping corporations, government entities and non-profit organizations elevate performance for more than 30 years. Growth is something Sikich has experienced first-hand, making our professionals uniquely qualified to provide business guidance. In fact, in 2013, the firm was recognized by Inc. magazine as one of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation; moved up seven spots on Accounting Today’s Top 100 firms list; and received a number of other awards for both business growth and workplace commitment.
With over 800 employees throughout the country and international alliances, Sikich provides dedicated industry teams, personalized attention, solutions for unique client challenges and expertise in a variety of integrated services, including:
• Accounting & Assurance
• Business Valuation
• Dispute Advisory
• ERP & CRM Software
• Human Resources Consulting
• Insurance Services
• Investment Banking & Corporate Finance
• IT Services
• International Services
• Marketing & Public Relations
• Outsourced IT
• Retirement Planning
• Supply Chain
• Talent Acquisition
• Tax Planning
• Wealth Management
To learn more about Sikich, our services and our people, visit our website or follow us on LinkedIn.
Securities are offered through Sikich Corporate Finance LLC, a registered broker dealer with the Securities and Exchange Commissions and a member of FINRA/SIPC. Advisory services offered through Sikich Financial, a Registered Investment Advisor. General securities offered through Triad Advisors, Member FINRA/SIPC. Triad Advisors and Sikich Financial are not affiliated.
The Milwaukee Press Club hosted a panel of experts at the Lake Express Ferry Terminal on January 11 to tackle the hot topic issue of how to fund Wisconsin's transportation system and what the future holds for taxpayers.
MMAC's Steve Baas, Senior VP of Governmental Affairs along with Todd Berry, Wisconsin Taxpayers Alliance; Bill Johnsen, formerly of the Urban Economic Development Association; John Nygren, State Rep. and co-chair of the Joint Finance Committee; and Ken Yunker, SEWRPC, faced a panel of journalists to answer questions and share thoughts about current problems and possible solutions
by MMAC President Tim Sheehy
Metro Milwaukee’s number one goal for 2017 is economic growth. Growing the region’s economy is the best bet for delivering bottom line benefits to its citizens. And not just to some of its citizens, in some parts of the region, but opportunities for all.
By Steve Baas – MMAC Senior VP of Governmental Affairs
The state of Wisconsin is in the midst of a long overdue discussion over how to create a sufficient and sustainable long-term revenue stream for the state Transportation Fund. It is a debate that is coming to a head as transportation needs and funding in Wisconsin reach a critical point.
The Milwaukee 7 Export Development Grant Program presented by JP Morgan Chase, now in its second year, has awarded just over $200,000 in funding to 53 companies throughout SE Wisconsin, including seven woman-owned and one minority-owned businesses.
Your One-stop Online resource to Engage with Students and Build Your Future Workforce
The Milwaukee 7 Talent Partnership’s new Grow Here Campaign and its Inspire online career-development portal can help you expand your company’s talent pipeline by connecting with students (6th grade through college), their parents and educators to learn about your company’s workforce needs and work-based learning opportunities.
COSBE'S "Be the Spark" program connects Milwaukee Public Schools (MPS) students to potential career pathways by touring local businesses.
By Tim Sheehy, MMAC President
As we look ahead at the priorities for the MMAC, it's worth taking stock of the current metro Milwaukee balance sheet from a business perspective.
MMAC hosted Jon Levine of Littler & Mendelson, P.C. for a briefing on labor law changes and what may be on tap under a new Trump administration and how those changes may affect your company or workplace.
Because so much labor law regulation has been conducted at the executive level rather than the legislative level of government over the past 8 years, there is perhaps no area with a greater potential of change than within the labor law issue. View Jon's PowerPoint presentation with insights on what to expect and how to best prepare for upcoming changes.
Cathy Harrison, MMAC Membership Director
"If you’re reading this page, chances are you took the time to read some of the preceding articles. And if you did take the time to inform yourself on the critical issues of urban education, it’s probable that you care about that issue... and feel a sense of concern and perhaps responsibility.
By Paul Sweeney - Principal, PS Capital Partners & Chair of MMAC's Education Committee
If funding is the input and student performance is the output, then accountability is the balancing mechanism. MMAC supports a transparent and uniform measure of student accountability for all publicly funded students.
By Howard Fuller - Board member, Milwaukee Collegiate Academy
Milwaukee Collegiate Academy (MCA) is an independent charter high school on Milwaukee’s north side whose mission is to “nurture scholars capable of transforming their world by sending them to and through college.” This mission is both life-changing for MCA’s students and a necessity for the Milwaukee community.
THE IMPORTANCE OF EARLY EDUCATION
By Thomas Schneider - Executive Director, COA Youth & Family Centers
Imagine building an 18-story office and starting construction on the 5th floor before the foundation. Unfortunately, far too many Milwaukee children start school at age 5 without the foundation.
Yet the first 5 years are critical and if we ignore this we shouldn’t be surprised by the results. Many Milwaukee children start school lacking the basic social, emotional and literacy skills needed to succeed long-term.
By Garrett Bucks - Executive Director, Teach For America - WI