Small Business Development Center Relocates

June 30th, 2014 - By admin

The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) at the University of Wisconsin-River Falls has relocated off-campus to the River Falls Municipal Power Plant building at 401 S. Winter St., just a few blocks from UWRF. The SBDC is housed in the newly renovated east office addition and is sharing that space with the new Center for Innovation and Business Development (CIBD). Free parking is available at the site.

The SBDC provides information, advising and training to Wisconsin entrepreneurs and small business owners and managers located in Pierce, Polk and St. Croix counties.

“At the SBDC, we continue to look forward to working with all the businesses in the St. Croix Valley,” said Steve DeWald, director of the Small Business Development Center.

For more information about the SBDC, email DeWald at steven.e.dewald@uwrf.edu or visit www.uwrf.edu/CBE/Centers/SBDC.cfm.

 

June 2014 – Featured Board Member – Peter Kling

June 30th, 2014 - By admin
Featured Board Member

Peter Kling joined the team at Bremer Bank as a Business Banker in September 2013. He manages a commercial and commercial real estate portfolio. Peter handles business development and retention, credit analysis, loan structure design, risk management, community involvement, and ensures the assigned portfolio is in compliance with all applicable standards, policies, procedures and regulatory requirements.

Prior to working at Bremer Bank, Peter was a Community, Natural Resource and Community Development Agent with the UW-Extension in St. Croix County for seven years. Here he collaborated with residents, businesses and local elected officials to address community, natural resource and economic development challenges and opportunities.

He provided leadership in program areas such as land use planning and management, community engagement, strategic planning, organizational development and bioenergy development.

Peter has been on the Polk County EDC board for two months. He enjoys working with local business owners and communities to grow the Polk County economy. Peter grew up in the small town of Fall Creek, WI, and has lived in New Richmond for 20 years with his wife and four kids. He enjoys fishing and golfing.

Infinity Retail Services Recipient of Energy Efficiency Award

May 20th, 2014 - By admin

Energy EfficiencyTURTLE LAKE – Infinity Retail Services was recognized by the Polk County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) for its contributions to economic and community development in Polk County. The 2014 Energy Efficiency Award was presented by Steve Healy, Executive Director of Polk County Economic Development Corporation, during PCEDC’s Business Awards Luncheon at Paradise Landing May 13, 2014.

In addition State Senator Shelia Harsdorf presented a Citation by the Legislature on behalf of the Polk County Legislators State Senators Shelia Harsdorf and Robert Jauch and State Representatives Erik Severson and Stephen Smith. Village of Turtle Lake Trustee Ken Mendley presented a resolution adopted by the Village of Turtle Lake Trustees recognizing the company’s achievements. Kevin and Wendy Jansen, founders and owners, accepted the awards and recognition.

Infinity Retail Services was founded in 2007 by Kevin and Wendy Jansen. Their company specializes in the lean manufacturing of custom retail store displays at their new 60,000-square-foot facility located in Turtle Lake, Wisconsin. The company’s mission is simple: “To provide our customers with INFINITE solutions through innovation, leadership and performance excellence while maintaining a sustainable footprint.”

A 50kw wind turbine currently provides a significant amount of the company’s electrical needs, off-setting more than 100,000 kg of carbon dioxide to date. The facility utilizes motion sensors for lighting not only in the office, but in the shop as well. LED lighting has been installed in all exterior applications, including parking lot, building security, flag and sign areas. A combination of high efficiency furnaces and heat pumps are utilized to heat and cool the office.

A newly implemented material handling system allows the company to produce its products more efficiently, decreasing machinery run time and energy use. This also enables greater production in less space due to the elimination of significant forklift traffic lanes.

For more information about economic development in Polk County, contact Polk County Economic Development Corporation, 715-646-3369, info@polkcountyedc.com or visit www.polkcountyedc.com.

Prior Award Recipients Guests at PCEDC Business Awards Luncheon

May 20th, 2014 - By admin

Past AwardsBALSAM LAKE – Prior Award Recipient Guests were recognized by the Polk County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) for their contributions to economic and community development in Polk County, during PCEDC’s Business Awards Luncheon at Paradise Landing May 13, 2014.

For more information about economic development in Polk County, contact Polk County Economic Development Corporation, 715-646-3369.

PHOTO CUTLINE: FRONT ROPW L to R Amanda Troff, NEI Electric, Laura Rockford, Trollhaugen, Sandra Williams, St. Croix Regional Medical Center, Caroline Rediske, Sew Creative, Shari Overby, Westconsin Credit Union.

BACK ROW L to R Royce Keehr, Core Products International, Ray Gessler, SMC-Amery, Brent Ledbury, SMC-Amery, Dave Dobosenski, St. Croix Regional Medical Center, Jim Rockford Jr., Trollhaugen, Phil Mattison, Core Products International, Scott Ostrom, Marketplace Food and Liquor, Carol Kraft, Marketplace Foods and Liquor, Donna Betts, Marketplace Foods and Liquor, Tammy Twedt-Close, Bremer Bank, Steve Rediske, Sew Creative, Chris Nelson, Nelson Construction Services.

AFP advanced food products, llc Recipient of Large Business Award

May 20th, 2014 - By admin

Large BusinessCLEAR LAKE – AFP advanced food products, llc was recognized by the Polk County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) for its contributions to economic and community development in Polk County. The 2014 Large Business Award was presented by Steve Healy, Executive Director of Polk County Economic Development Corporation, during PCEDC’s Business Awards Luncheon at Paradise Landing May 13.

In addition State Senator Shelia Harsdorf presented a Citation by the Legislature on behalf of the Polk County Legislators State Senators Shelia Harsdorf and Robert Jauch and State Representatives Erik Severson and Stephen Smith. Chuckie DeSmith, AFP Clear Lake Plant Manager, Lisa Cornell, Senior Human Resources Manager, Jackie Dibble, Production Superintendent, and Maci Nyseth, Human Resource Business, Partner, accepted the award and recognition on behalf of AFP Clear Lake.

AFP advanced food products, llc is a joint venture formed in 2001 between Land O’ Lakes and Bongrain SA, and is headquartered in New Holland, PA.   AFP Clear Lake is one of three plants that comprise AFP. The other two plants are located in Visalia, CA and New Holland, PA.

AFP is a food packaging company that produces aseptic food products that are shelf-stable at room temperature. The products consist of cheese sauce and dairy products that are packaged in steel/aluminum cans and plastic cups/pouches. Products are sold through food service, retail, and export channels. AFP customers include many global food brand owners (PepsiCo, Nestle, and Yum Brands) as well as many U. S. retailers and food service distributors (Kroger, Ahold, Wal-Mart, Sysco).

AFP is compliant with the Global Food Safety Initiative and is certified through the British Retail Consortium consistently receiving an “A” grade. AFP is also certified by the American Institute of Baking, continually receiving “Superior” scores on those audits. AFP has been selected for many awards including the PepsiCo Quality Award in 2004, 2008 and 2010, Supplier of the Year award in 2010, Great Partner and Service Award in 2011 and the PepsiCo Productivity Award in 2012.

In 2013, 119 million pounds (roughly 2,700 semi truck loads) of product was produced at the AFP Clear Lake Plant. AFP Clear Lake continues to grow and is nearly a 24/7 operation. There are 165 employees with an average of 15 years of service. The annual turnover rate is less than 2 percent. The plant has an excellent safety record and successfully adheres to industry standards, exceeding expectations in all of the categories.

The Clear Lake plant supports the local community with donations and financial support. It contributes to the Annual Clear Lake Days celebration and donates roughly 300 cases of product to support local youth group activities as well as local school athletics and education activities.

For more information about economic development in Polk County, contact Polk County Economic Development Corporation, 715-646-3369, info@polkcountyedc.com or visit www.polkcountyedc.com.

Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative Recipient of Business Service Award

May 20th, 2014 - By admin

Business ServiceCENTURIA – Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative was recognized by the Polk County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) for its contributions to economic and community development in Polk County. The 2014 Business Service Award was presented by Steve Healy, Executive Director of Polk County Economic Development Corporation, during PCEDC’s Business Awards Luncheon at Paradise Landing May 13.

In addition State Senator Shelia Harsdorf presented a Citation by the Legislature on behalf of the Polk County Legislators State Senators Shelia Harsdorf and Robert Jauch and State Representatives Erik Severson and Stephen Smith. Ed Gullickson, Polk-Burnett board president, and Steve Stroshane, Polk-Burnett engineering and operations manager, accepted the award and recognition on behalf of the electric cooperative.

Polk-Burnett is a member-owned, not-for-profit electric cooperative serving 20,000 homes, cabins, businesses and farms in northwestern Wisconsin. Its mission is to benefit members by providing reliable electricity with efficiency and extraordinary service. It was established in 1938 by local farmers and the federal Rural Electrification Administration (REA) to provide electricity to rural areas. Today, Polk-Burnett is still owned and governed by local members and guided by a not-for-profit, cooperative business model, where electricity rates cover the cost of doing business and members receive friendly service from local employees who care about them and the communities in which we live.

“Since our beginning in 1938, Polk-Burnett Electric Cooperative remains committed to improving the quality of life in our local communities,” said Gullickson, “The co-op provides electricity to power communities and supports economic development throughout our service territory. We believe economic development leads to an improved standard of living, as well as a strong future for the cooperative, by creating local jobs and increasing energy sales. We are proud to be a member of Polk County Economic Development Corporation and we are honored to receive the 2014 Business Service Award.”

For more information about economic development in Polk County, contact Polk County Economic Development Corporation, 715-646-3369, info@polkcountyedc.com or visit www.polkcountyedc.com.

Chet Johnson Drug Recipient of Small Business Award

May 20th, 2014 - By admin

small businessAMERY – Chet Johnson Drug was recognized by the Polk County Economic Development Corporation (PCEDC) for its contributions to economic and community development in Polk County. The 2014 Small Business Award was presented by Steve Healy, Executive Director of Polk County Economic Development Corporation, during PCEDC’s Business Awards Luncheon at Paradise Landing May 13.

In addition State Senator Shelia Harsdorf presented a Citation by the Legislature on behalf of the Polk County Legislators State Senators Shelia Harsdorf and Robert Jauch and State Representatives Erik Severson and Stephen Smith. Matt Johnson, Julie Johnson, and Sarah Flanum accepted the award and recognition on behalf of Chet Johnson Drug.

In the heart of downtown Amery, Chet Johnson Drug (Chet’s) has been committed to providing the special care and service you can only get from a member of your community since 1932. Chet’s is a Member of the Health Mart Pharmacy network and accepts most prescription drug insurance plans at the same co-pay as national chains.

Offering individualized, personal service and getting to know you, not just as a customer but also as a patient and a person is what sets this pharmacy apart from the “big box” retailers. The pharmacists are always available to counsel the patients and offer the latest information on staying healthy. At Chet’s there are many options available to refill prescriptions today, from phone and e-mail to online reordering and now a Health Mart App to order your prescriptions right from your cell phone.

Chet’s has a wide selection of the products you use every day and offers competitive pricing to save you money. Featuring HEALTH MART brand high quality and low priced health and beauty items allows you to compare and save with name brand products. Chet’s recognizes that everyone is stretched – for time and money. Shop where you live and take advantage of the friendly personal service that Chet Johnson Drug has to offer.

Stop next door to Ellie’s Ice Cream and Coffee for a step back to the 30s and try an old-fashioned ice cream soda, phosphate, goo or one of Ellie’s signature fresh ground espresso drinks. You will certainly find a flavor of ice cream you like and a junior cone is a great way to try something new!

Chet Johnson Drug offers Health Care Services and everyday needs from people you know.

For more information about economic development in Polk County, contact Polk County Economic Development Corporation, 715-646-3369, info@polkcountyedc.com or visit www.polkcountyedc.com.

Polaris Plans $1.75 Million Expansion in Osceola

May 2nd, 2014 - By admin

walker

 WEDC awards $234,000 in tax credits for project; 60 new jobs projected

Madison – Polaris Industries Inc., a leading manufacturer of off-road vehicles, snowmobiles, and motorcycles, is expanding the engine assembly operations at its facility in Osceola, a move that will create 60 new jobs and retain 200 existing positions.

The $1.75 million expansion project in Polk County will enable the production of additional Polaris ProStar™ engine platforms.  The new line will increase Osceola engine capacity by 40 percent.

“We applaud Polaris for its decision to expand its Wisconsin operations,” said Governor Scott Walker. “This is another sign of the continued strength of the state’s economy – particularly in the manufacturing sector.”

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) is providing the Minnesota-based company with up to $234,000 in tax credits for the project.  Those credits are contingent upon Polaris creating 60 jobs over the next three years.

“Polaris is thrilled to be expanding our facilities in Osceola and bringing additional jobs to the community,” said Bennett Morgan, company president and chief operating officer.  “We have a long history with the community, and are thankful to have the support and partnership of the state of Wisconsin as we continue to invest in our future here, and increase our ability to bring the latest innovations to our riders.”

“The Village of Osceola is pleased that Polaris has decided to expand its engine assembly line in Osceola,” added Village Administrator Joel B. West.  “These jobs, together with recent job growth by other Osceola companies, will further strengthen our local and regional economy, and will help to spur growth in other retail and service industries.”

“We are really excited and pleased that Polaris will be creating these new jobs and retaining existing positions in Polk County,” said Steve Healy, executive director of the Polk County Economic Development Corporation.  “Polaris is an excellent employer, and any time we can add and retain these types of family-supporting jobs, it is a boost to the county and regional economy.”

Polaris Industries designs and manufactures innovative, high-performance motorized products for recreation and utility use.  The company’s product lines include ATVs and other off-road vehicles, snowmobiles, motorcycles, on-road electric/hybrid powered vehicles, and related parts and accessories.

Contact: Laurel Patrick, (608) 267-7303

Featured Business Member March 2014 Interactive Business Solutions

March 24th, 2014 - By admin

Interactive Business Solutions, LLC is small business located in St. Croix Falls, WI. Owned and operated by Kirk Anderson, a Marketing and Technology Consultant who specializes in web based marketing and communication solutions.

By focusing on customer service and satisfaction, Interactive Business Solutions has grown from a home based business, working out of a small basement office, into a full time career. Interactive Business Solutions has been a “Main Street Business” in downtown St. Croix Falls since 2008.

They believe their success is evident in the fact that the majority of their business is developed through customer referrals and satisfied clientele that “trust us enough to partner with us again for their business success.”

Over the last 12 years, their services have grown to include:

  • Technology & Marketing Strategies
  • Social Media Management
  • Podcast Consulting
  • CMS Website Development
  • Business Marketing Videos
  • Email Marketing
  • Organic Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
  • Local Search & SEO

“Starting and maintaining a successful business in a small town has its challenges, but has been truly rewarding.” Kirk is an 11 year member of the Falls Chamber of Commerce and is currently serving as Vice President of St. Croix Valley Connections Group; both dedicated to helping grow businesses through networking.

But, according to Kirk, being part of this community involves more than just hanging a sign outside an office to make a living. If you aren’t willing to invest some time and energy into the community to make a difference, you’re missing a big opportunity to giving back. Kirk an active member of the St. Croix Falls Rotary Club, where as a board member he helps raise funds to complete local projects within the community and around the world.

For nearly 12 years, Kirk has enjoyed living the St. Croix Valley with his wife and 4 children.

Interactive Business Solutions, LLC
102 N. Washington St., Suite B
PO Box 291
St. Croix Falls, WI 54024

p: 715-598-4129
c: 612-598-5758
w: www.Interactive123.com

Tom Derrick is the 2013 ABC of Wisconsin Wes Meilahn Award Winner

February 28th, 2014 - By admin

Tom Derrick, Derrick Companies, New Richmond, is the newest ABC of Wisconsin Wes Meilahn Award winner. Tom was presented his award at the ABC of Wisconsin Projects of Distinction Banquet on February 6, 2014 in Wisconsin Dells.

The  Wes Meilahn Award is the most prestigious individual award to be made by the members of Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. Wisconsin Chapter. Tom has tirelessly contributed to ABC of Wisconsin, on many different levels, spanning 24 years of membership and voluntary service to ABC. He is also half of the first set of brothers to win this award. His brother, Bill Derrick won the award in 2003.

From 2009 to 2013 Tom served on the Wisconsin Chapter ABC Board of Directors and as the Board Chairperson in 2012. He has also supported many committee efforts, membership recruitment, National ABC conventions, and major events throughout his membership in ABC Wisconsin.

The Wes Meilahn Award is named in honor of Wes Meilahn, a founding father of the Wisconsin chapter and chapter chairman in 1974, who passed away nearly 30 years ago.  Since that time, ABC Wisconsin has been awarding individuals who exemplify the same tenacity, understanding, love, and service toward the association as the late Wes Meilahn did.

This award is the most prestigious and coveted award given by the association.

Photo: Tom and his wife Janice Derrick after Tom received the Wes Meilahn Award at the ABC of WI Projects of Distinction Banquet February 6, 2014.