directions - Kenosha Area Business Alliance



directions - Kenosha Area Business Alliance
Quarterly Newsletter of the Kenosha Area Business Alliance | Winter 2010
Gordon Food Service Ready to Deliver as Kenosha Distribution
Center Comes On-line
Gordon Food Service (GFS) is nearing completion on its newest distribution center and expects to begin shipping product from the Kenosha facility by March 2010.
Construction on the 585,000 square-foot facility began shortly after the Grand Rapids, Mich.-based food service distributor announced plans to locate in Kenosha in
June 2008. The distribution center and ancillary facilities were developed on a 134-acre site located on 38th Street (formerly County Highway N), just east of I-94
and north of the Kenosha Regional Airport.
The GFS project represents a sizable investment in the Kenosha area. Initial employment is expected
to be approximately 150 as GFS staffs up to begin operations by the end of the first quarter 2010. The
City of Kenosha, Kenosha County, the Kenosha Water Utility, and the
State of Wisconsin worked collectively to address infrastructure and
related development issues that were critical to GFS’ decision to site this
investment in Kenosha.
“This was a true collaboration of the City, State, County, KABA and the
Kenosha Water Utility,” Mayor Keith Bosman said. “ There were a lot of
moving parts in this project, but in the end it all came together.”
County Executive Jim Kreuser noted, “The city and the county need to continue
to work together to improve infrastructure that creates this type of economic
development. I heartily welcome Gordon Foods to Kenosha County.”
Gordon Food Service’s Kenosha distribution center will be a state-of-theart facility featuring innovative material handling systems built on
‘pick to conveyor’ technology (pictured). It will have a storage
capacity of 54,000 pallets across six different temperature and
continued on page 3 >
Kenosha County’s economic development
organization and employers association.
We chose Kenosha because of
the attractive business
climate , the opportunity
to further our geographic
growth , and the proximity
to our many loyal customers in
Wisconsin and the greater
Chicago area.
— Gordon Food Service
President Jim
Dear KABA Stakeholder:
As we close the books on 2009 and look
ahead to the New Year and beyond, it is
important to assess the dramatic changes
that have taken place in recent times and
how those changes will impact the way we
do business going forward.
The recent recession and financial crisis
have created challenges that few of us have experienced in our business careers.
But with these great challenges come significant opportunities. Determining
how to capitalize on these opportunities and generate new products, services,
and revenues in this environment is critical to the health and survival of our
businesses and the members of our community that own and operate them.
Kenosha County, and its economy, performed relatively well in 2009. Evidence
of this was provided recently as credit ratings agencies Moody’s (AA2) and
Standard & Poor’s (AA) confirmed Kenosha County’s rating and stable outlook.
Several factors contributed to our community’s ability to weather this recession
including our improved economic diversification of the last two decades, our
geographic position between Chicago and Milwaukee, and a number of sizable
investment projects that were already on the board or underway before the
worst of the recession set in.
It is clear, however, that the community was not immune to the economic
conditions that impacted the rest of the nation and world. The broader
economy contracted considerably, negatively impacting area development and
unemployment levels.
Like any other organization, KABA feels the effects when economic
activity slows. There are fewer projects to pursue, financing becomes more
challenging, unemployment rises as firms cut jobs and stop hiring, businesses
table expansion plans and cut back on expenses, and public sector partners
scale back to balance tight budgets. In spite of this, KABA continued to carry
out its mission in 2009 with the continued strong support from its major public
and private partners. Financing was extended to support a handful of industrial
expansions including new facilities for Bradshaw Medical and Centrisys, two
area firms that continue on nice growth trajectories despite the economy.
There was also a concerted effort along with the Wisconsin Department of
Commerce to put together a relocation financing package that helped convince
Acco Brands to remain in Pleasant Prairie and consolidate two other out-ofstate facilities here. This preserved more than 100 jobs and prevented vacancies
at two large industrial buildings. In all, KABA’s Finance Committee approved
roughly $5 million in new economic development financing to support business
investments in Kenosha County.
KABA also spent considerable time and energy this past year developing a new
long range economic development strategy to better position the community
for future success. Kenosha’s past performance responding to economic
adversity is notable, but it was time to look ahead and evaluate how best to
sustain and grow the economy during its next phase. Through this process it
became clear that KABA was well positioned to weather the storm and remain
focused on economic development priorities and activities. This is a credit
to the community leaders – public and private, past and present – that have
invested considerable time, energy, and resources into building a professional
and sustaining economic development organization. KABA’s foundation as
Kenosha County’s public/private economic development organization is well
established and an important element to build on moving forward.
As we look ahead to the New Year we are cautiously optimistic that better
times are ahead and that our community is well positioned for the recovery.
Kenosha County’s geographic location and strong core of public and private
partners working to continually improve the community and its economy are a
few factors that will contribute to future success. A quick and robust economic
recovery is not likely. But as we work to implement the Kenosha First Plan,
the goal is to ensure that Kenosha is prepared to compete and win long term.
Barb Riley, Chairperson
Welcome New KABA Members
uBest Western Harborside Inn & Kenosha
uKeller, Inc. uBusiness Health Care Group
uPR, Etc. Conference Center
A downtown Kenosha hotel and meeting facility located on the shores of Lake Michigan.
An employer-based strategic initiative to drive down
health care costs in southeastern Wisconsin to at least the Midwest average.
uSimplified Staffing, Inc. A full-service construction firm offering planning, design and building services for a variety of industries throughout EasternWisconsin.
Specializes in placing talented individuals in a wide range of industries including the Manufacturing, Distribution, Industrial, and Professional fields.
A full-service public relations, event planning and marketing firm, headquartered in Rockford, Ill. with additional offices in Madison and Racine, Wis.
Darcy Kennelly, General Manager, Prime Outlets
Darcy Kennelly manages one of the Kenosha Area’s most popular attractions: Prime Outlets–Pleasant Prairie. Located just
over the Wisconsin border, Prime Outlets draws thousands of visitors to the Kenosha Area annually. According to a 2008 poll
conducted by the Kenosha Area Convention & Visitors Bureau, more than half of the responding visitors to Kenosha County
visited Prime Outlets during their stay.
As Prime Outlets’ General Manager, Darcy oversees 30 people in administration, guest services, security, maintenance and food
service positions. Factoring in all of the retailers, Prime Outlets currently has more than 1,000 employees.
Darcy attended college at the University of Wisconsin - Madison, bringing her to Wisconsin from her home in Winona,
Minnesota. She began her career in retail as a Marketing Assistant at Madison’s West Towne Mall. She joined Prime Outlets in
early 2006 as Marketing Manager to help promote the grand opening of the outlet’s expansion. She was promoted to General
Manager in 2008. In addition to managing the outlet center, Darcy enjoys freelance writing, event planning and spending time
with her husband and two small children.
Prime Outlets increased the size of its retail space by 33 percent in 2006, adding an eatery and additional parking. In 2009, they
welcomed new retailers Cole Haan, Subway, Lucky Brand and Erica’s Fine Jewelry and Reebok Outlet is scheduled to open in the
first quarter of 2010.
Get connected! Check out KABA on Twitter, Linked In, You Tube &
Facebook. Search
for ‘KABA’ or
Gordon Food Service Ready to Deliver, cont.
humidity zones to preserve quality, can ship 130,000 cases per day, contains six miles of conveyor
belts, two miles of fiber optic cable, five miles of copper voice cable, 20 miles of copper data cable, has
64 dock doors, and can handle up to 105 trucks per shift.
Gordon Food Service was founded in 1897 and is North America’s largest family-owned broadline
food service distributor, providing food and supplies to the restaurant industry as well as institutional
users. The company also owns and operates 132 GFS Marketplace retail stores throughout the U.S. and
Canada. The Kenosha facility will be GFS’s ninth distribution center, its first west of Lake Michigan.
Kenosha Regional Airport: An
Important Economic Development Asset
One of the recommendations contained in the Kenosha First strategic plan,
recently commissioned by KABA, is an increased emphasis on expanding the
airport for corporate aviation needs. The Kenosha Regional Airport offers
numerous advantages including its location, accessibility, municipal ownership,
and available land for hangar development. The Kenosha First report noted that
lengthening the airport’s main runway, currently 5,499 feet, would make the
airport safer and more attractive to certain corporate users as it would extend
the range of their aircraft. Improving the airport’s infrastructure to better serve
corporate aviation supports community efforts to retain, expand, and attract
corporate and regional headquarters to the county.
Kenosha Municipal Airport has seen air travel decrease slightly in the current
economic downturn. According to General Manager Wayde Buck, the airport
has attracted significant activity in the last ten years and there is significant
interest in future development. Ruud Lighting is one of airports newest
corporate users.
The Kenosha Airport has 25 corporate hangars, which are often home to
multiple users, and 25 T-hangars. The complex also has three repair facilities,
two flight centers, two fuel stations and a helicopter training facility.
Regional Airport Comparisons
No. of Runways
Length of
Longest Runway
Daily Use
No. of
Corporate Jets
Kenosha Regional
Kenosha, WI
5,499 ft.
Waukegan Regional
Waukegan, IL
6,000 ft.
John H. Batten
Racine, WI
6,574 ft.
Grayslake, IL
23,573 ft.
Burlington Municipal
Burlington, WI
24,300 ft. 151
Grand Geneva Resort Lake Geneva, WI
13,830 ft. 8
Chicago Executive/
Wheeling, IL
5,000 ft. Wisconsin Partnership for a Stronger Economy
Earlier this year, KABA took part in several brainstorming sessions with
representatives from the Wisconsin Assembly to lay the groundwork for a
new economic development initiative called the ‘Wisconsin Partnership for a
Stronger Economy’.
The partnership, co-chaired by Representatives Peter Barca (D- Kenosha) and
Louis Molepski (D-Stevens Point), aims to establish a long-term, strategic
dialogue between those who create jobs, train and retrain workers and state
government in order to improve Wisconsin’s business climate and encourage
economic growth and job creation.
The partnership, which includes business leaders, academics, labor leaders
and economic development professionals, is currently considering a variety of
initiatives, including an expanded jobs tax credit, capital formation incentives,
and regulatory reforms.
Our goal is to bring some of the most imaginative,
high impact ideas together to attempt to help
businesses create jobs.
— Representative Peter Barca
IRIS USA Makes Major
Investment in Pleasant
IRIS USA is investing in major upgrades at its facilities in Pleasant
Prairie and Mesquite, Texas, with the purchase of 32 new all-electric
injection molding presses and 36 robots. The company has continued
to perform well despite challenging global economic conditions and
views the project as a significant investment in its future.
“We are trying to look for ways to improve our efficiency, reduce cost
and become more responsible towards the green initiatives,” President
Chet Keizer noted. “When we look at the business trend for the next
three to five years, this is a good opportunity for us to invest and
prepare for growth. We are proud that we are financially strong to
make this kind of investment.”
IRIS USA reported strong 2009 third-quarter sales, and sees that
growth trend continuing into the first
quarter of this year. Compared to lowprice-driven competitors, IRIS USA focuses
more on quality and service.
“Our service level this year is incredibly
high, due to better communication with
our customers and better inventorymanagement systems that we developed
internally,” Keizer added.
IRIS USA designs and manufactures a variety of plastic products and
containers used for storage and office organization, and by hobbyists
and pet owners. They established a presence in Pleasant Prairie with the
construction of a 365,000-square-foot manufacturing and distribution
facility in 1996. In 2005, a 245,000-square-foot warehouse addition
was constructed creating a 610,000-square-foot complex which also
serves as the company’s U.S. Headquarters. IRIS USA is the U.S.-based
division of IRIS Ohyama Inc., a diversified manufacturer of molded
plastic products, lawn and garden and pet supplies, based in Sendai,
Japan. They employ approximately 225 people in Pleasant Prairie.
EMCO Chemical Distributors
to Move to Pleasant Prairie
EMCO Chemical Distributors, Inc. is pursuing the purchase of the
property located at 8601 95th Street, formerly owned by Hexion Specialty
Chemicals. Hexion ceased operations at the facility earlier this year. The
site is specially outfitted for chemical operations and contains much of the
required infrastructure needed by a chemical distributor.
The Pleasant Prairie Plan
Commission recently
approved a Conditional
Use Permit including Site
and Operational Plans for
EMCO, which will use
the property to receive, store, repackage and distribute various chemicals
for a variety of industries throughout the region. EMCO anticipates taking
occupancy of the property in early 2010.
EMCO wants to purchase the building largely because it is located along a
rail line, according to EMCO president Edward Polen. The company uses
both rail and trucking channels to receive and distribute chemicals. It is
difficult to find facilities with easy access to rail lines, said Polen.
EMCO will employ between 80 and 125 full-time employees at the Pleasant
Prairie location in production, shipping and receiving and office positions. The
company already has a waste transfer and storage facility at 9114 58th Place in
Kenosha, which will not be affected by the addition of the Pleasant Prairie facility.
EMCO Chemical Distributors was founded in 1971 and is headquartered
in North Chicago, Ill. Some of EMCO’s larger customers include RustOleum, Exxon Mobile, Sherwin-Williams, Benjamin Moore & Co., PPG
Industries and Valspar.
In 2009, financing extended by KABA and its lending par tners to
Kenosha Area firms led to the creation/retention of approximately
145 jobs in Kenosha County.
Xten Industries Balances Sustainability & Bottom Line
Xten Industries is proving that sustainability and the bottom line can
work together. The plastic injection molder and contract manufacturer is
implementing sustainability efforts throughout the plant - upgrading or
modifying machinery and materials, implementing employee training and
working with the community.
of January include the installation of energy efficient lighting, the closure of
compressed air leaks, the implementation of in-line compressed air boosters
(so they can turn down the general shop air pressure), the replacement of
resistance heater bands with radiant heater band technology (pictured left) and the
installation of auto standby and auto off technology for all of their presses.
Phase one of Xten’s plan is to significantly reduce electrical consumption – both
lowering its impact on the local environment and its electrical cost.
Xten predicts the expected savings to be about thirty to forty percent of their
electric bill. The company has also received grants from Focus On Energy and
loans from Clean Tech Partners and US Energy Capital Corporation. The loans
are to be repaid through a shared savings program—Xten will keep fifty percent
of the savings and the other fifty percent will go to repay the loan.
Some of the projects Xten has either completed or will complete by the end
The entire project will be cash positive and complete by the end of January.
Xten plans to tackle diminishing their carbon footprint in 2010.
...responsibly embracing sustainability concepts
can and will improve cash flow and profit
statements .
— Mark Dirr, Director of Engineering, Xten
Pleasant Prairie to Develop Property for Small Business Incubator
The Pleasant Prairie Community Development Authority plans to redevelop the former Midwest Copier/Manutronics property into a small business or light
industrial incubator to assist startups of small business. The property, to be named the “Springbrook Innovation Center”, is located at 9115 26th Avenue, near
Springbrook Road.
In addition to providing space to area entrepreneurs, goals for the 2.25-acre parcel include alleviating flooding in the area and providing short-term, indoor storage
for off-season public works equipment. There is a 25,448-square-foot building on the property now, originally built in 1920. About 4,000 square feet will be
dedicated to screened small business or light industrial start-up applicants.
Available Business Sites – Featured Property:
For more information on these properties or other available business sites, please visit
5600 99th Ave., Business Park of Kenosha
SF (divisible to 15,000 SF) on 2.81 acres
u24’ clear
height; 2 docks; 1 drive-in door
panel and structural steel construction
Nominate Someone for the 2010
KABA Mentor of the Year!
Attention mentors, counselors, teachers and community members! If you know a KABA
mentor who goes above and beyond, making a real impact on their student, nominate them
for the 2010 KABA Mentor of the Year!
The award will be given at the 2010 KABA
Annual Meeting to be held this spring.
Deadline for nominations is Friday, February
26, 2010.
To receive a nomination form or for more
information, please visit
Pictured left: 2009 KABA Mentor of theYear
Charles Talbert with his mentee Jakeem.
Did You Know
KABA Awards College
KABA awards scholarships to graduating seniors from
Kenosha County High Schools who plan to attend a fouryear college or university to pursue a career in Math,
Science, Technology, Medicine, Engineering, Business,
Finance, or Accounting. KABA also awards scholarships to
eligible graduating seniors planning to pursue a Technical or
Associate’s Degree at Gateway Technical College. Scholarships
range from $750.00 to $2,500.00.
2010 applications will be available on the KABA web site
soon! For more information, please contact Diana IdeGonzalez at 262.605.1100.
DWD Introduces National Career Readiness Certificate
Kenosha employers continue to express concern about the gaps that exist between the skill sets of potential and incumbent workers versus those required by current
and potential positions. In order to address the issue, the State of Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development (DWD) has begun implementing the National
Career Readiness Certificate.
The National Career Readiness Certificate (NCRC) provides employers a national standard that an individual has essential core employability skills in Reading, Math,
and Locating Information. The American Testing College Program (ACT) has researched over 16,000 occupations and found these three skills are highly important to
85 percent of the jobs in the workplace. The Certificate is an easily understood and a nationally valued credential that certifies the attainment of these workplace skills.
The Certificate is based on ACT’s Work Keys® assessments—which links job skills with workplace success. To earn the
Certificate, three Work Keys assessments must be completed—Math, Reading, and Locating Information. Work Keys
awards four levels (bronze, silver, gold and platinum) depending on what level of the NCRC is earned.
Companies investing in the system can expect the following possible outcomes:
Recruiting efficiency by qualifying applicant pools
Reduced risk from legal challenges
Reduced employee time to competency
Improved training programs by aligning curricula
Proven return on investment (ROI) in a variety of categories
Reduced turnover
Improved employee productivity
Reduction in waste and improved quality
For more information about the National Career Readiness
Certificate, please contact Business Services Team
Representative Rebecca Freund at the Kenosha County
Job Center: (262) 697-4610.
Winter 2010 E D U C AT I O N
LMI Packaging Hosts Food Safety Training for Local Companies
LMI Packaging Solutions, a printer and converter of flexible packaging materials used in heat
lidding, hosted a day and a half training session on the development and implementation of Hazard
Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP). LMI Packaging made the course available to both
customers and Kenosha area companies.
“Deciding to include other companies underscored LMI Packaging’s vision of developing and
supporting best-in-class solutions for all of our valued customers.” said Randy Troutman, LMI Vice
President of Engineering.
HACCP is a management system in which food safety is addressed through the analysis and control
of biological, chemical, and physical hazards from raw material production, procurement and
handling, to manufacturing, distribution and consumption of the finished product. The HACCP
training course was attended by representatives of LMI Packaging Solutions, Roundy’s, Lakeview Farms and ST Specialty Foods.
New to mentoring? Want to know more about what it means to
be a mentor? Come to the Mentor Kenosha & Racine’s Mentor
Orientation and find out how mentoring is beneficial to both the
mentor and the mentee. Two dates: Januar y 28th & Februar y 7th,
5:30 - 7:30 p.m. at the UW-Parkside Student Center Ballroom.
Please contact KABA at 262.605.1100 or [email protected] if you
would like to attend.
Certified Logistics Associate
(CLA) Certificate Program
KABA and Gateway Technical College have joined forces to offer a Certified Logistics
Associate (CLA) certificate program. This industry-driven training and assessment
program addresses the core competencies of higher skilled, front-line material handling
workers across the supply chain: from factories, to warehouses, to distribution centers
to transporters. Classes begin in early March! For more information or to register,
please contact KABA or visit
Invest in your most important asset....your workforce!
Snap-on Plant Named One of
the Best in U.S.
We Energies Says Carbon
Capture Project Works
Snap-on Inc.’s Milwaukee manufacturing plant was recently selected by
IndustryWeek magazine as one of the top 20 factories in North America.
We Energies, and its partners Alstom and The Electric Power Research
Institute (EPRI), recently announced that a pilot project testing an advanced
chilled ammonia process has demonstrated more than 90 percent capture
of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the flue stream of at a coal-fueled power
plant in Pleasant Prairie. Testing at the pilot facility, using a 1.7-megawatt
(electric) slipstream from the plant, began in early 2008 and will conclude
later this year.
IndustryWeek’s annual “Best Plants” competition
salutes manufacturing excellence and applauds
efforts to continuously improve. Now in its
20th year, the search identifies winning
manufacturing facilities from across North
America. Referring to the 2009 Finalists,
IndustryWeek stated that “despite possibly
the roughest economic conditions many
have faced, these manufacturing facilities still
pursued process and people improvements
and achieved enviable performance metrics in
numerous operational areas.”
The captured CO2 will
be compressed, pipelined,
and injected into two
different saline reservoirs
located approximately
8,000 feet beneath the plant site.
Lessons learned from the $8 million project at Pleasant Prairie already have
provided critical information for efforts to scale up effective carbon capture and
storage technologies for new power plants and for retrofit to existing plants.
Kenosha the Only County to
See Drop in 2009 Vacancy Rate
Kenosha County was the only southeastern Wisconsin county that
experienced a decrease in the vacancy rate for industrial space in 2009.
That’s according to the Southeastern Wisconsin 2009 Industrial Market
Report, published annually by Milwaukee-based Dickman Co. Real Estate.
Large companies moving into existing buildings is one the main reasons
the report cites for the decline. The amount of vacant industrial space
in Kenosha County contracted from 10 percent in the first quarter to
9. 1 percent in the fourth quarter. The rate is expected to remain stable
during 2010.
Local Business Development Organizations Aim to Launch
Eco-Friendly Businesses
At a recent workshop at the University of Wisconsin - Parkside, area
business development groups screened approximately 30 ideas for
“green” businesses. A steering committee will select approximately
20 plans, and their sponsors will receive $1,000 scholarships, supplied
through federal stimulus funds, to pay for a 13-week course on
developing business plans.
Winter 2010 The committee will then review the revised plans and select 10 to
work with on developing the plan into viable companies. Some of the
business ideas include a company that recycles computers and one
that assesses appropriateness of, and eventually installs, solar-powered
water heating in buildings.
The Basics of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Search engines have become the number one tool for Internet users seeking information online. The purpose of search engine optimization is to make a
website as search engine friendly as possible. If you want to grow your sales, reach a wider audience or generate more leads, internet marketing works.
Positioning your website on the first search engine results page can promote your products or services to a huge audience of prospects.
Statistics and studies show:
of internet users access search engines to find product and service information
of click throughs originate from natural search engine results while 30% originate from paid search
Search engines use “spiders” that scan the Web and use complex algorithms to determine where your Web site should rank when a user types in a particular
search term. Rather than paying for each click, as with Search Engine Advertising (Pay Per Click or PPC), SEO employs specialized strategies designed to
ensure your Web site is returned for the keyword search terms that are most relevant to your business.
A common approach to SEO involves the following three phases:
1) Website SEO Audit and Structural review—The SEO audit uncovers fundamental website issues which can impede higher ranking in the search engines.
The entire Website structure is evaluated to ensure that search engine spiders can easily navigate the site.
2) Keyword Research and Mapping—Keyword research at the beginning of the SEO process ensures that efforts are focused on words and phrases that have
enough daily search volume; are highly targeted to your product/service offering; and are attainable. The result is that each important page of your website has
keyword targets so SEO efforts are tightly focused.
3) Ongoing SEO Management and Link Building—The ongoing optimization is split into two interchangeable categories 1) On-site optimization and 2)
off-site optimization efforts. This approach provides the flexibility needed to gain maximum exposure with search engines and in social media channels.
On-Site Optimization work typically includes:
to title tags, Meta data, page copy, alt text, and page heading tags as needed.
of XML and HTML site maps. Site maps help search engine spiders locate all pages of the site and also improve usability.
cross-linking and anchor text review.
and conversion improvements
Off-Site Optimization – Link Building
In search engine optimization, solid link popularity can literally make or break a site with the search
engines. The focus of these efforts is to acquire relevant links to your website. Search engines assign a
great deal of weight to the quantity and quality of “backlinks” pointing to your website. They determine the value of a site. The reason is simple: sites that are
useful and have high quality content are great resources, so they get pointed to by other online sources via links.
However, building link popularity is not easy. The engines don’t want “artificially created” (or useless) links, so there are no easy ways to build link popularity.
Rather, the engines want links from authoritative sites, or links from sites that share the same focus as yours.
The foundation of nearly every successful SEO campaign is simplicity. The goal is to make a site easy to find, easy to follow, and easy to read for search spiders
and live-visitors, with well written topical content and a good number of relevant incoming links. Running a well managed SEO campaign means added costs,
however, the returns definitely outweigh the expenses.
Written by Karyn Soergel, President of Aloha Digital Marketing, a subsidiary of KABA member Ascedia. Aloha helps companies assess, explore, and adopt which digital marketing
channels fit their communication needs.
Centrisys Corporation
Centrisys Corporation was formed in 1987 after its founder, Michael Kopper, determined there
was a need for an American-made, high quality centrifuge dewatering system. At that time, Kopper,
a native of Germany, had over 25 years of experience in the European centrifugal dewatering
industry and helped Centrisys introduce an innovative range of advanced dewatering centrifuges for
industrial and municipal wastewater applications.
Dewatering centrifuges are used to separate solids from liquid for a variety of different applications such
as wastewater treatment, oil refinery waste and food processing including palm and olive oil production.
Originally located in Libertyville, Illinois, Centrysis moved to its current location in the Business
Park of Kenosha in 1999. Formed with just two employees, Centrisys now employs 65 people at its
Kenosha headquarters as well as an East Coast sales office and West Coast repair facility.
We chose Kenosha because the land is affordable , the utilities
are reasonable and the labor pool is generally more skilled
in manufacturing.
— Michael Kopper, CEO, Centrisys Corporation
Centrisys is currently constructing a 30,000 square-foot expansion across from its current 65,000
square-foot facility. The new building, to be operational by this spring, will give the company
additional space for more equipment, thus providing greater production capacity.
Kopper believes Centrisys’ quick concept-to-market capacity and service capabilities are its strongest
competitive advantages, as well as offering an American-made product. Centrisys is the only centrifuge
manufacturer in the U.S. dedicated to the municipal market, according to Kopper.
In 2007, Centrisys was honored with a Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Award for Operational
Excellence in a Capital-Intensive Industry.
Pictured: (Top) Centrisys’ current 65,000 SF manufacturing facility. (Second) Centrisys’ new 30,000
SF expansion to be complete first quarter 2010. (Third) A dewatering centrifuge. (Bottom) A complete
portable centrifuge system.
Winter 2010 11
Kenosha Area Business Alliance, Inc.
600 52nd Street, Suite 120
Kenosha, WI 53140-3752
U.S. Postage
Permit #
Kenosha, WI
Vice Chair
Barbara Riley
Vice President - Business Development,
Riley Construction Co., Inc.
Stanley Torstenson
Retired CEO,
Stan’s Lumber, Inc.
Patrick DeGrace
Director of Customer Care,
Hospira Worldwide, Inc.
Jefferey Kostrzewa
Vice President & Treasurer Corporate Finance,
Snap-on Inc.
Bryan Albrecht
President,Gateway Technical College
Ken Dowdell
Vice President/Publisher, Kenosha News
John Ernster
Manager-Customer Services,
We Energies
Karla Krehbiel
SeniorVice President, Johnson Bank
Robert Terwall
President, Hallum Enterprises, Inc.
Thomas Laken, Sr.
President, Finishing & Plating Service, Inc.
Gregg Thompson
CEO, Bukacek Construction
Kenneth Fellman
President, Marshall & Illsley Bank
Dr. Joseph Mangi
Superintendent of Schools,
Kenosha Unified School District
Frank Unick
Chief Financial Officer, Uline, Inc.
David Barnes
Attorney, Barnes Law Office
Marvin Bembry
Director, State & Local Government Affairs,
Abbott Laboratories
Kevin Bolyard
Manufacturing Manager - Kenosha Engine Plant
Chrysler, LLC
Cathryn Bothe
President, Bothe Associates Inc.
Dr. F. Greg Campbell
President, Carthage College
John Donnell
President, Martin Petersen Co., Inc.
Dr. Deborah Ford
Chancellor, University of Wisconsin-Parkside
Jerold Franke
President, WISPARK LLC
David Hagman
President & CEO,
Vista International Packaging, LLC
William Hardt
President, Northlake Engineering, Inc.
Mark Jaeger
SeniorVP, General Counsel & Secretary,
Jockey International, Inc.
Todd Battle
Teri Muehlbauer
Office Manager
Lisa Feltson
Administrative Assistant
Becky Noble
Director of Marketing
Diana Ide-Gonzalez
Director of Training & Education
Richard Rodenbeck
Director of Business Finance
Virginia Moran
President, LMI Packaging Solutions, Inc.
Mark Naidicz
Robert Nelson
President, Bane-Nelson, Inc.
Karl Ostby
Retired President & CEO, Southport Bank
Peter Valeri
President, Valeri Agency, Inc.
Susan Ventura
SeniorVice President & Chief
Operating Officer,
United Hospital System
Dennis Vignieri
Kenosha Beef International, Ltd.
Lawrence Rasch
President, Rasch Construction &
Engineering, Inc.
Kenosha Area Business Alliance, Inc.
600 52nd Street, Suite 120, Kenosha, WI 53140-3752
P: 262.605.1100 | F: 262.605.1111 |
Directions is published quarterly by the Kenosha Area Business Alliance, Inc. (KABA). KABA is a private,
not-for-profit corporation recognized as the focal point for economic development, business technical
assistance and employer training to existing firms and new businesses interested in locating to Kenosha

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