Business Bits/Summer 2017

KMK promotes regional offerings at Kelley-Williams Company’s stores

KMK Media Group, a marketing communications firm, was hired by Kelley-Williamson Company to develop a website promoting multiple hiring opportunities the company has available in the region. KMK has worked with Kelley-Williamson for nearly 10 years.

Kelley-Williamson was founded in 1926 and has grown to a network of more than 40 Kelley’s Market convenience stores in Illinois and Wisconsin, plus petroleum products and distribution services. The company regularly hires administrative professionals, drivers, retail managers, and sales associates, among other positions.

KMK Media Group also launched a website for Northern Illinois Service Company, a construction-related firm founded in Rockford more than 40 years ago. KMK built the company’s original website several years ago. The new website features interesting case studies with photos of demolition work done for Rockford City Market, RPS 205 and Newell Rubbermaid, in addition to aggregate pricing and company service information. The company provides demolition, earthwork, underground construction, concrete and asphalt recycling, commercial and industrial site work, and design-build services.

KMK Media Group designed a comprehensive 34-page annual report for Boylan Catholic High School, as well as invitations for the school’s annual Green and Gold Gala fundraiser and Men’s and Women’s Golf Opens. KMK also completed corresponding Facebook marketing campaigns for all three events.

The annual report utilized photos of actual students, past and present, and included relevant information for anyone looking to attend the region’s premier Catholic high school. The marketing materials portrayed Boylan’s evolution in technology and education while holding firm to its Catholic roots since the first graduating class in 1964.

KMK Media Group, a marketing communications firm, donated its services to create a new logo for Parents for Gifted Education (PGE), a parent advocacy group supporting students and families of Rockford Public Schools’ Gifted and Creative & Performing Arts (CAPA) Academies.  The new logo will be used on the group’s digital and printed marketing and correspondence materials.


RE/MAX Ignite real estate in Beloit recently opened for business

Local Broker/Owner Otis Johnson with his wife, Stephanie Johnson, recently opened of RE/MAX Ignite in Beloit focused on providing clients a full-range of residential real estate services.

RE/MAX Ignite’s professionals will serve clients in both Wisconsin and Illinois, primarily targeting Rock County and Winnebago County.

Otis Johnson, who is a lifelong resident of Beloit, has represented clients in Wisconsin for four years as well as in Illinois for two years. He is a licensed broker in both states.

“Stephanie and I are excited about owning our own real estate company to provide superior customer service to those who trust us with the home buying and selling process,” he said. “RE/MAX has the best resources and tools, and we have no doubt we will reach a new level of success with our future agents.”

The new office is located at 310 State St. in Beloit.


Former Blackhawk Technical College airplane hangar sold 

Coldwell Banker Commercial McGuire Mears & Associates is pleased to announce that the 26,029 square foot airplane hangar located at 4618 S. Columbia Drive in Janesville has been sold to Burlington company Meisner Aircraft Inc.

The hangar, previously used for Blackhawk Technical College’s aircraft maintenance program, was vacated when the program was discontinued in spring of 2013. Broker Bill Mears represented both parties in the transaction.

Coldwell Banker Commercial McGuire Mears & Associates also is pleased to announce that the 10,164 square foot industrial building at 461 W. Conde St., Janesville, has been sold to the local branch of Aerial Work Platforms, which is based in the Milwaukee area.

Aerial Work Platforms sells, leases, and services scissor lifts and booms used in the construction industry, among others. Broker Bill Mears represented both the seller and buyer in the transaction. PPG Industries Inc vacated the premises in June 2016 after shutting down its Janesville operations.

“We had outgrown our place on McCormick, and Bill happened to reach out to us at just the right time with the building on Conde Street,” said Pat Barney, owner of Aerial Work Platforms.

Aerial Work Platforms will be relocating from its former location on McCormick Drive in Janesville, where they had occupied approximately 5,000 of the total 12,600 square feet; Coldwell Banker Commercial McGuire Mears & Associates now has that property listed for lease.


CENTURY 21 Affiliated is No. 1 company based on sales in system        

CENTURY 21 Affiliated today announced that it is the No.1 company worldwide in the CENTURY 21® System based on sales production and units sold in 2016.

The company, who has earned the top spot in units sold for the last three years, was honored at the CENTURY 21 One21 Experience held at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas during March. CENTURY 21 Affiliated Founder Bill Kessler and President/CEO Dan Kruse were on hand to accept the award.

“Dan and the entire leadership team at CENTURY 21 Affiliated have shown time and again that relevancy, attitude, professionalism and responsiveness are the keys to a successful real estate business,” said Rick Davidson, president and CEO, Century 21 Real Estate LLC. “It’s clear that homebuyers and sellers in the Midwest and those throughout the globe truly have a real estate resource they can trust in CENTURY 21 Affiliated. I’m honored to congratulate them on their continued success.”

Family owned since 1977, CENTURY 21 Affiliated became a franchise member of the CENTURY 21 System when it moved to Wisconsin in 1978.
Currently, CENTURY 21 Affiliated consists of more than 2,000 independent sales associates who are helping families in Wisconsin, Northern Illinois, Minnesota, Indiana, Michigan and most recently, Florida, achieve their home ownership dreams.


V2 Marketing hired to redesign websites, is honored

Rock River Valley Tooling and Machining Association (RRVTMA) hired V2 Marketing Communications to redesign the organization’s website and produce trade show displays. RRVTMA is a trade association whose members include tool and die shops, contract machine shops, and precision custom manufacturers in Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin.

Family Building Services, a building and remodeling contractor in Portland, Oregon, recently hired V2 Marketing Communications to redesign their website. The new website will be optimized for viewing on mobile devices and provide an interactive portfolio of the company’s kitchen and bath remodeling

The company also received the following honors at American Advertising Award gala in March at the Prairie Street Brewhouse: Gold ADDY Award for Chicago National Association of Dance Masters Fall 2016 Poster; Gold ADDY Award for Renaissance Roofing, Monarch Sales Booklet; Bronze ADDY Award for Bike Builder TV spot, Orthoillinois; Bronze ADDY Award for You Have a Choice campaign, Orthoillinois.


First National Bank and Trust announces its top performer

First National Bank and Trust recently announced it is a top performer, earning a coveted 5-Star rating from BauerFinancial, the Nation’s Premier Bank Rating Firm. A five-star rating indicates that the bank excels in areas of capital adequacy, profitability, asset quality and much more.

“First National Bank and Trust is a prime example of a community bank excelling at what a community bank was meant to do,” said Karen L. Dorway, president of BauerFinancial. “It employs locally, thereby having the same personal investment in the community as its customers; it makes decisions locally, often for neighbors and friends; and it focuses on quality as opposed to quantity. That focus has paid off for both First National Bank and Trust and for its community.”

First National Bank and Trust was established in 1882 and has been providing Sound Advice and quality banking services to its neighbors and friends ever since. Today, after 135 years, it now serves nearly 30,000 households in 13 communities through 16 conveniently located offices throughout Northern Illinois and Southern Wisconsin, including locations in Beloit, Roscoe, Janesville, Monroe, Walworth, and the Stateline Area, with assets of approximately $1.2 billion.


ER Wagner to have new Servo Punch Press available for production

Milwaukee-based ER Wagner announced it will have a new 600-ton Servo Punch Press available for production in late 2017, greatly increasing ER Wagner’s metal stamping capabilities.

The Nidec Minster Corporation machine, which will be a part of ER Wagner’s new 157,000-square-foot corporate headquarters and state of the art manufacturing facility currently under construction in the Village of Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin, is latest technology in metal stamping, giving ER Wagner the ability to stamp bigger parts made of thicker metal – including high-strength metals – with complex geometries and tighter tolerances faster and more efficiently.

“There are not a lot of these 600-ton servo presses in the contract manufacturing market,” said Brad Gador, President of Engineered Products Division. “With the addition of this press, we are setting ER Wagner apart from the crowd.”

Other benefits include improved part quality through programmable forming speed, and lower part costs due to increased production rates of 30-40 percent versus mechanical presses and 10-20 percent versus other servo presses and value added tapping, insertion and welding.


Blackhawk Bank announces plan to open office at Janesville location

Blackhawk Bank announces that it has acquired property at 2525 Milton Avenue in Janesville and plans to open a full-service office at that location later in the year.

Current Blackhawk Bank staff, and additional staff hired from the Janesville area, are expected to begin serving clients at the Holiday Drive / Milton Avenue office sometime during the third or fourth quarter. Announcements for a grand opening celebration will be shared closer to the actual opening date.

Blackhawk has served the Janesville community since August of 2014 from the Blackhawk Bank Mortgage & Commercial Loan office, located at 200 W. Milwaukee Street, which is expected to be closed as the new office opens.


V2 Marketing creates materials for Rockford Lutheran program

V2 Marketing recently created a logo, permanent signage and marketing materials for Rockford Lutheran School’s 1 + 3 = college degree program. The 1 + 3 program allows students to earn enough credits to complete up to one year of college course work while still attending high school. Rockford Lutheran is the only high school in the area to have individual transfer agreements with more than 25 colleges and universities.

Quartz, a health plan services company based in Sauk City, Wisconsin, recently hired V2 Marketing Communications to develop an advertising and marketing strategy to introduce the Quartz brand to the Rockford market. The multi-channel ad campaign consists of traditional and digital advertising including geofencing and retargeting tactics, as well as inbound marketing to attract and convert sales leads. Quartz is a third-party administrator of self-funded health plans with an expansive provider network that includes a variety of primary and specialty providers through their partnership with SwedishAmerican, a division of UW Health.

V2 Marketing Communications also recently organized, promoted and facilitated a four-day workshop and banquet event for the Association of Applied and Therapeutic Humor (AATH) in Orlando.

AATH’s 30th Annual international gathering featured keynote speakers, workshops, Humor Academy and hosted over 150 participants.


Centre 1 Bancorp hosts Annual Meeting of shareholders 

On April 21 the Annual Meeting of shareholders of Centre 1 Bancorp, Inc., the holding company for First National Bank and Trust Company (FNBT), was held in Beloit.

The meeting was the 35th for the holding company and the 135th for the family-owned bank, chartered in 1882. Steven M. Eldred, Chairman and CEO, reported that 2016 earnings goals were achieved and net income increased 12 percent over 2015, once again exceeding historical levels. The bank’s capital ratios of 15.2 percent continues to exceed regulatory well-capitalized requirements.

The most significant accomplishment for 2016 was the acquisition and conversion of Walworth State Bank. The merger was announced in late 2015 and the transition completed in 2016.

This transaction was the largest in FNBT’s history, increasing the bank’s asset size to $1.2 billion, and expanding the bank’s customer base to more than 30,000 households and the branch network to 16 branches. First National Bank and Trust Company’s asset size at the end of the year was $1.2 billion.

Centre 1 Bancorp, Inc. is the holding company of First National Bank and Trust Company.  First National Bank and Trust Company is a family-owned, community bank headquartered in Beloit, Wisconsin.


Data Dimensions offers solution for medical bill processing 

Data Dimensions, a leader in business process automation, has teamed up with Availity, the nation’s largest real-time health information network, to offer a comprehensive, agnostic, end-to-end solution for medical bill processing.

That solution, DD eBill, offers the most efficient path for inbound bills in the property & casualty and workers’ compensation fields. Whether a bill is paper-based or electronic, DD eBill can process it utilizing the combined resources of both companies. Data Dimensions’ Medical Bills Processing solution focuses on the conversion of paper forms to electronic format for EDI delivery, while Availity’s eBill handles the intake and processing of electronic bills.

Combined with the efficiency and convenience of DD BillPay, Data Dimensions’ electronic bill payment service, payers and providers are able to benefit from a complete, end-to-end Medical Bills Processing solution that improves the consumer’s experience, increases timely and accurate payments, and reduces administrative costs.

The new collaboration utilizes the resources of both companies: Data Dimensions has more than 30 years’ experience in automating document-intensive business processes, offering an extensive range of services with a focus on the insurance and healthcare industries. The company has one of the largest footprints in the workers compensation and property & casualty markets, working with almost all major industry carriers from a BPO perspective. Data Dimensions has extensive experience processing paper based healthcare and insurance forms through their robust suite of business process automation services.

Processing billions of transactions yearly, Availity has the nation’s largest real-time health information network, with a reach extending to more than 1 million active providers, 2,700 hospitals, 675 vendor partners, and all health plan and insurance carriers nationwide.

The Availity Advanced Clearinghouse, with its intuitive interface and seamless integration of more than 600 practice management systems, makes it easy for providers to send and receive information with any workers compensation, property & casualty, government or commercial payer in the nation.


TOTAL Mechanical, Inc. acquires divisions of Tri-Cor Mechanical 

TOTAL Mechanical, Inc. recently announced that it has acquired key operating divisions of Tri-Cor Mechanical, LLC.

Tri-Cor was originally established in 1977 and is located in Janesville Wisconsin. TOTAL Mechanical will assume operational control immediately. The terms of the sale are not being disclosed.

“I am pleased about the tremendous opportunities this acquisition provides for our employees and the employees of Tri-Cor Mechanical,” said Dennis J. Braun, President and CEO of TOTAL Mechanical. Tri-Cor has a long-standing tradition of being a high-quality mechanical contractor, and we are excited to be able to strengthen Tri-Cor with the addition of TOTAL Mechanical’s hard-working team of experienced professionals.”

TOTAL Mechanical was established in 1968 and is a mechanical contracting firm specializing in the design, installation and services of commercial and residential HVAC, Plumbing, Electrical and Fire Protection systems as well as mechanical systems that support industrial and manufacturing processes.

With the acquisition of Tri-Cor TOTAL Mechanical now has approximately 300 employees, including more than 230 skilled trade workers representing seven area labor unions – Sheet Metal Workers Local 18, International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 494, Plumbers Local 75, Sprinkler Fitters Locals 183 and 669, Steamfitters Local 601, and Racine/Kenosha Steamfitters/Plumbers Local 118.


Upper Lakes Foods moves into city’s East Side Business Park 

Upper Lakes Foods, Inc. is expanding its distribution network by moving into the City’s East Side Business Park, where it has signed a long-term lease for 100,000 square feet. The company, which anticipates having its new Janesville facility operational by Q3 of 2017, is actively hiring and training employees to reach the company’s 50-plus staffing benchmark.

“We believe strong communities build strong businesses. Being a part of the Janesville community, where many of our employees live, is an exciting opportunity for Upper Lakes Foods. We look forward to continuing our 50 year legacy and providing our customers the excellent service we are known for,” said Upper Lakes Foods President Susan R. Ryan.

Established in 1967, Upper Lakes Foods (ULF) is a family-owned, privately-held wholesale food distributor that services healthcare, institutional and quick-service restaurants within the extended Midwest. ULF carries over 14,000 name brand products, ranging from fresh to frozen and from poultry to produce. Renowned for its customer service and multi-tiered quality assurance processes, ULF is also recognized for its fleet, facilities and operational sustainability initiatives. In addition to Janesville, the company has two Minnesota


Rockford Mutual announces Eckburg Insurance as top agency

Joseph P. DeChatelets, President and CEO of Rockford Mutual Insurance Company, Rockford, recently announced that Eckburg Insurance Group has been recognized as the company’s top agency for 2016.  The agency is located in Loves Park.


SwedishAmerican is set to open new Heart Institute 

After a 15-year relationship with Midwest Heart Specialists, SwedishAmerican is charting a new course and opening  The SwedishAmerican Heart Institute.

The facility will open and feature an expanded team of highly-skilled cardiologists including Dr. Andrew Kotis and Dr. Mukesh Singh, as well as nurse practitioners Kim Christenson, Lisa Larson, Laura Padron and Elissa Russell.

The SwedishAmerican Heart Institute will be housed in the same space, located at Renaissance Pavilion, 1340 Charles St., Suite 300, Rockford. The new clinic will be renovated and expanded to provide a more spacious and comfortable experience for everyone.

“As the preferred leader in cardiology services in the region, SwedishAmerican values our patient’s trust and looks forward to providing the community with an even higher level of care at The SwedishAmerican Heart Institute,” said SwedishAmerican President and CEO Dr. Bill Gorski.