Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Cannery Grill Gets Positive Review (77 Square)

When the 6,100-square-foot bar and restaurant opened in July 2007, it got scant publicity in Madison. Yet, as I discovered recently, the Cannery deserves to be recognized for its food and its service.

Read the full review in 77 Square, the entertainment blog associated with

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

MATC Offers Busines Writing Course at Colonial Club (MATC Business Industry and Community Services)

Business Writing 1

In this class students will improve their skills in writing for a business setting. They will draft various correspondences such as letters, memos, and reports, learn to properly document telephone messages, and create meeting agendas. The final project will be to develop a presentation using graphics, pictures, clip art, etc., and present this to the class.

Class: #70311
Fees: $99.33
Days: W
Time: 6:00 PM-8:45 PM
Begins: 1/13
Ends: 2/24
Instructor: Staff
Location: Sun Prairie Colonial Club

Registration methods:

New students: Phone (608) 246-6240 or (608) 246-6210 or visit the Enrollment and Information Center at an MATC campus.

Returning students: Use either of the above methods OR phone the automated registration system at (608) 246-6220 OR register online... visit InsideMATC, login to your account, and use the Student Center to Add your 5-digit class number(s). First time InsideMATC users will need to activate their accounts.

For more information on Madison College training solutions or to discuss opportunities to offer customized training for businesses and organizations, please contact our Business, Industry and Community Services (BICS) department at or call at 608-243-4479.

Monday, December 21, 2009

Predictions for Sun Prairie's Economy in 2010

While I carefully analyzed the Dane County Business Survey from this year to answer questions for Meghann Olson at the Star, I worked very hard to provide an objective commentary on how the questions in the survey reflected how Sun Prairie businesses would have answered. I pondered all sorts of scientific trends and correlations and emailed her some brilliant answers. Most of which didn't make the article. So much for the mumbo jumbo.

Meghann did however highlight my prognostications for Sun Prairie's economy in 2010 which I kind of threw in there for fun. Why not? If Jimmy can do the weather, I should be able to reasonably predict with some degree of accuracy what may happen in the world of development. Right?

Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Happy Holidays!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Council Approves Marcus Theatres Project in Under Two Months (Various)

[Blogger's Note: I'll let the news articles speak for themselves. We're very excited about the opportunity that the Marcus project brings to our community. It was fun to work on a project where the elected officials, staff, developer and the prospect we're all striving for the same goal. Now only if the economy will cooperate and help us get that building permit issued...]

Council gives final approval to Marcus plan (Sun Prairie Star)

Marcus Picks Sun Prairie Over Madison For New Theater (

Marcus theater project heading to Sun Prairie (The Daily Reporter)

Sun Prairie council approves 16-screen theater project (

Marcus Theatres project gets green light in Sun Prairie (WKOW 27)

Sun Prairie council approves new Marcus cinema (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel)

Madison leaders lament project losses (The Daily Reporter)

Friday, December 11, 2009

THRIVE Updates Available

The following activity reports are currently available from THRIVE, the eight-county economic development organization for the Madison Region:

Thursday, December 10, 2009

2009 First Business Economic Survey of Dane County (First Business Bank)

This report highlights the findings of the 2009 First Business Economic Survey of Dane County, which was conducted by the University of Wisconsin’s A.C. Nielsen Center for Marketing Research in September and October of 2009. This was the seventh year for the study. The survey was sent to 4,568 businesses in Dane County that were reported to have five or more employees and was addressed to the CEO, CFO, President, and/or business owner.

The survey asked respondents to evaluate the current, and predict the future performance of their business on eight key economic indicators in each of the following areas: Sales Revenue, Profitability, Total Operating Costs as a % of Revenue, Capital Expenditures, Number of Employees, Overall Wage Change, Change in Pricing, and Operating Capacity. This year, as in past years, the survey also asked questions pertaining to changes in expenses. We also asked business owners their projections on the potential effect of the newly proposed legislature regarding healthcare reform, which during the timing of the survey was not finalized in any form.

Public power CEO to step down in 2011 (

Roy Thilly, president and chief executive of WPPI Energy, will step down as the public power company’s leader in early 2011.

Thilly has been president and chief executive of WPPI Energy, formerly known as Wisconsin Public Power Inc., since 1992. He has been active on energy policy issues at the state and federal levels. He co-chaired Gov. Jim Doyle’s task force on global warming and played a leading role in 1990s in moves that led to the formation of a transmission-only power utility to upgrade the state’s energy reliability.

A search will be launched for a new CEO, and Thilly will spend 2010 continuing as CEO as well as assisting the board of directors in the succession planning process, Rodriguez said.

WPPI Energy is a regional power company serving 51 customer-owned municipal electric utilities in Wisconsin, Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Iowa.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The Clean Energy Ecnomy (PEW Center on the States)

The emerging clean energy economy is creating well-paying jobs in every state for people of all skill levels and educational backgrounds. This emerging sector is poised to expand significantly, driven by increasing consumer demand, venture capital infusions, and federal and state policy reforms.

Between 1998 and 2007, jobs in the clean energy economy grew at a national rate of 9.1 percent while traditional jobs grew by only 3.7 percent. By 2007, more than 68,200 businesses across all 50 states and the District of Columbia accounted for more than 770,000 jobs, despite a lack of sustained government support in the past decade.

The private sector views the clean energy economy as a significant and expanding market opportunity. Venture capital investment in clean technology reached a total of about $12.6 billion by the end of 2008. In 2008 alone, investors directed $5.9 billion into American businesses in this sector, a 48 percent increase over 2007 investment totals.

Federal and state lawmakers also see the sector as helping to spur America’s economic recovery and protect the environment. States will receive a major infusion of federal funds through the recently enacted American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and every state offers some form of financial incentive to drive its clean energy economy.

Click here for the link to the PEW Center on the States.

Click here for a summary of the report on "The Clean Energy Economy."

Wisconsin poised to be global leader in green economy (Capital Times)

John Imes, Director of the Wisconsin Environmental Initiative, wrote a great guest editorial in the Capital Times last week. His main points that stood out to me were 1) that there is tremendous economic opportunity for Wisconsin in the "Green Economy," and 2) that the greatest successes will likely come from private sector initiatives.

Click here for the full guest column in the Capital Times.

IEDC Leadership Summit to Focus on "Renewable, Sustainable, Affordable" Energy (

2010 IEDC Leadership Summit
January 31st - February 2nd, 2010
Woodlands Resort and Conference Center
Greater Houston Area

When it comes to a business’s location, retention and cost decisions, affordable and sustainable energy is a hot topic. These new sectors are creating jobs across the continent and globe. With this change comes a need for new training and skills for community workforces. With this rise in the energy industry, comes an increase in talented jobs in research and design as well as manufacturing in many communities. As a key issue with the current administration, federal funding and tax credits are out there! Join IEDC at the Woodlands Resort, outside Houston, TX as we discuss affordable energy tactics to help your community stay ahead of the curve and enter the future of sustainable energy.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest (Wisconsin Technology Council)

The Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest – the nation’s first statewide, tech-based business plan competition – is accepting entries online for the 2010 competition. Entries will be accepted now through 5 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010. The contest’s grand prize is worth $50,000 in cash and services.

For their initial entries, contestants will submit 250-word idea abstracts online at Contestants who advance to subsequent contest rounds will have the opportunity to expand their plan or idea. More than 70 judges drawn from the finance, sales, marketing, research and specific technology sectors will score the entries and provide feedback.

As with past contests, the 2010 competition will take place in three stages:

1) In the “Business Concepts” phase, which is open until Sunday, Jan. 31, 2010 at 5 p.m., the contest will accept IDEA Abstracts on the web site. IDEA abstracts are 250-word business concepts that will be graded on a scale of 1-10 (10 highest) by our judges. The top 50 IDEA Abstract presenters will be asked to write an Executive Summary.

2) In the “Executive Summary” phase, which runs from Feb. 22 to March 12, 2010, the top 50 IDEA Abstract presenters, plus ties, post their 1,000-word summaries online for comments by the judges. Contestants may be encouraged to revise their plans based on judges’ comments. The top 20 plan summaries are selected for the final round.

3) In the “Final Writing Business Plan” phase, which runs from April 2 to April 26, 2009, the top 20 Executive Summary presenters, plus ties, prepare 20-page plans for judging. Limited comments and mentoring continues. Judges will review the plans and pick three place winners in each category to advance as the “Diligent Dozen.”

The “Diligent Dozen” will present and compete in front of live judging for the grand prize at the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference to be held June 8-9 in Milwaukee.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Wisconsin Technical College Creates Insurance Education Program (

Madison, Wis. - Madison Area Technical College has launched an Insurance Certificate Program to respond the needs of the growing insurance industry in that state.

Wisconsin has the 6th largest concentration of insurers in the nation employing over 65,000 people statewide and that number is expected to increase significantly in the coming years.

The Insurance Certificate Program utilizes accelerated learning to provide students with a basic understanding of the insurance industry and its products to enable entrance into the workforce, according to the announcement from Madison Area Technical College. About 50 percent of each course is completed outside of class. Combining the advantages of automated delivery and in-class interactive sessions provides a program geared to the adult learner that works. Led by an Advisory Committee of insurance industry professionals, the program offers practical skills and seeks to build a bridge between students and the industry. Graduates from the certificate program will be prepared to seek jobs in customer service, underwriting assistance, claims assistance, and sales.

The series of courses is also a great addition for those with an Associate's or Bachelor's degree who would like a specific focus in insurance.

The insurance certificate combines pre-licensing education with a core curriculum and some national designation studies to offer a diversified knowledge base.

Students can focus in Property & Casualty or Life & Health. Many of the programs are also filed for continuing education credit to meet the on-going educational needs of the insurance community.

BLOGGER'S NOTE: This is a great example of tailoring our educational and training resources to help retain and grow a major employment sector here in our area. Kudos to MATC for taking the initiative to start this program!

Madison Area Technical College Course Information:

Downtown Sun Prairie Ladies Night Out - Thursday Dec. 3rd

Enjoy a fun-filled evening of sales, workshops, demos, food and more at over 25 businesses in the Downtown area! Visit businesses from 5:30 to 7:30 PM and finish with a wrap-up party at the Cannery Grill (315 E. Linnerud Dr.) at 8:00 PM. Begin your evening and pick-up a punch card at Prairie Flowers & Gifts (202 W. Main St.) to be eligible for door prizes to be given away at the wrap up party!

The first 100 ladies will get a reusable shopping bag filled with coupons and special items.

Participating businesses include:
  • Prairie Flowers and Gifts
  • Herreman's Supper Club
  • City Hall Pets and Gifts
  • Pit Stop Pub
  • Sun Prairie Historical Museum
  • La Tolteca
  • Christine K Designs
  • Forever Yours Jewelry
  • J.J. Stitches
  • Clothes Minded
  • Atlantis Taverna
  • Eddie's Alehouse
  • Cannery Wine & Spirits
  • RU Wired?
  • A Day in the Country
  • MCV Salon
  • State Farm Insurance
  • Beans-n-Cream Coffeehouse
  • Associated Bank (Copps East)
  • Market Street Diner
  • SNAP! Fitness

Let's go your best to support your local economy and shop 'til you drop!

Effective Place Branding (Burghard Group)

Some good reading for anyone interested in what branding is and why communities need to be involved in it...

Strengthening Brand America

Friday, November 20, 2009

Wave Wind Selected to Support Amayo II Wind Turbine Project in Nicaragua (Press Release)

Wave Wind, LLC, a leading wind energy service provider, has been selected by Suzlon Energy Limited, one of the world's leading wind turbine suppliers, to erect 11 2.1 MW Suzlon wind turbines for Amayo II, the second phase of a 63 MW wind energy project in Nicaragua. The $55 million project, which is being developed by Consorcio EĆ³lico Amayo S.A. (Amayo S.A.), an international wind project development consortium, is the second project Wave Wind has supported in Central America.

Wave Wind is scheduled to begin construction of the wind turbines by mid-December 2009. The goal is to have Amayo II fully operational by February 2010.

Congratulations to Wave Wind on another great project, and another example of the International reach of the wind energy sector. We look forward to helping to introduce Suzlon to Wisconsin.

Wave Wind is located just south of Sun Prairie on CTH TT.

EDC Hosts Fall Networking Event for Economic Development Groups

25 represenatives from a variety of organizations that work on economic development in the City of Sun Prairie met for informal networking at Cannery Grill on Thursday Nov. 18th. In addition to the Mayor and several council members, represenatives from the planning commission, community development authority (CDA), business improvement district (BID, chamber of commerce, industrial development coporation (SPIDC), the tourism commission, and the economic development council (EDC) all attended.

To the best of our knowledge, this is the first time such an event has been held with all these groups in attendance!

Attendees were treated to a presentation from Ms. Lisa Nelson from WalMart, who provided an overview on some of WalMart's corporate policies including their healthcare benefits, sustainable practices, and volunteer spirit. No information regarding WalMart's potential for expansion or relocation was available at the current time, but we look forward to working together to ensure the most viable alternative for their future in Sun Prairie.

Chamber Awards 2009 Community Business Leader Award to Glenn Fenske

Congratulations to Glenn Fenske for receiving the Sun Prairie Chamber's 2009 Community Business Leader award. If you see Glenn around town, remember to tell him that he's the man! (Those of you who attended the lunch will know what I mean.) It was no surprise when Glenn donated the $200 that comes with the award to the Sun Prairie Education Foundation--a cause for which he is a dedicated supporter.

Thanks to Chamber of Commerce for the invitation, and to everyone who attended the lunch and sat through the development update presentation from Planning Director Scott Kugler and myself (Neil Stechschulte, Economic Develoment Coordinator). Hope everyone enjoyed playing "Economic Engtanglement" and everyone learned a bit about what we're hoping to work towards in 2010 in our economic developement efforts.

If You Leave Sun Prairie Hungry, Its Your Own Fault!

New places to eat keep opening in Sun Prairie. Be sure to stop in for a bite, and welcome the following new restaurants to Sun Prairie!

Takumi Japanese Restaurant (OPEN)
1219 West Mainst
Sun Prairie, WI 53590
(608) 318-1588

Herreman's (Scheduled to Open in Nov. 2009!)
109 W. Main St.
Sun Prairie, WI 53590
Phone not yet listed.

Little Caesars Pizza (OPEN)
1326 W Main St.
Sun Prairie, WI 53590

Wave Wind Host Hyundai Heavy Industries on Business Development Tour (Press Release)

Wave Wind, LLC, a leading wind energy service provider, recently hosted Hyundai Heavy Industries (HHI), a global leader in industrial manufacturing, on a business development tour of Wisconsin. The tour, which was arranged by Wave Wind following its recent agreement to purchase six 1.65 MW wind turbines from HHI, featured a visit with Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle, meetings with other leading Wisconsin businesses, and a survey of potential wind development sites in the state.

Wave Wind's partnership with HHI is evidence that Wisconsin's commitment to becoming a leading center for renewable energy manufacturing, services, and job creation is beginning to yield tangible benefits. Wave Wind viewed HHI's visit as an opportunity to support this commitment.

To that end, HHI's tour of Wisconsin included a meeting hosted by Governor Doyle during which the Governor promoted Wisconsin's physical, geographic, and human resources and reiterated his commitment to creating new, high-paying renewable energy jobs. It also included a tour of Wave Wind's operations and wind turbine storage facilities as well as a tour of potential wind development sites currently being evaluated by Wave Wind.

Wave Wind is located just south of Sun Prairie on Highway TT.

Grants available to Wisconsin manufacturers (WTN News)

The Department of Commerce has authorized Next Generation Manufacturing grants to help Wisconsin manufacturers improve performance, stimulate growth and respond to new challenges as the economy recovers from the recession.

The grants are targeted to small and midsize manufacturers with less than 500 employees. Grants of $5,000 to $6,500 pay up to 50% of project costs for services delivered by WMEP. The remaining project costs are paid by the company. A significant share of the funding already has been pledged for projects. Eligible projects are:Eligible projects include lean transformation initiatives, comprising a comprehensive assessment of a company's operations, identification of key competitive priorities and an action plan to achieve them, and a business-growth plan designed to help manufacturers rapidly generate and test new product ideas called Eureka Winning Ways.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival Featured in 2010 Cultural Affairs Calendar

Celebration is the theme of the 2010 Dane County Cultural Affairs Commission calendar, led off by Sherry Bahr’s exuberant “Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival Carnival Ride,” shown above. The calendar is available at more than a dozen locations throughout the County. Go to the commission’s website for a full listing of where you can pick one up.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sun Prairie Highlights in Nov. 2009 In Business Magazine

Pick up this month's edition of "In Business Magazine" and you'll get a triple dose of how Sun Prairie is actively impacting our local and regional economy. Features include:

- Executive Profile: Bryan Renk, Executive Director of BioForward is a Sun Prairie native (p. 28)

- Business Dynamic Feature: Sun Prairie based Wave Wind LLC is one of the featured companies talking about pursuing federal stimulus money for renewable energy projects (p. 42)

- Health Care Feature: St. Mary's Sun Prairie Emergency Center is featured as a possible trend setting facility in Wisconsin (p. 54).

Who from Sun Prairie will be next in the Madison area business spotlight?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Does Sun Prairie Need a Kitchen Incubator?

The following story popped up on WKOW's website yesterday:

Capital City Cookies is close to their one year anniversary in December. Though they do not have a retail space, you can find them at farmer’s markets and cater their cookies to your events. Robin and Jerry Kempfer started the company and make the cookies themselves. I joined Robin at Golden Days Bakery in Sun Prairie where they rent kitchen space.

(Click here for article and link to the video segment on how they make their Sea Salt Caramel Pecan Cookies.)

Now, there have been at least one or two other people in town who have approached the City about getting permission to run food related businesses from out of there houses. It raises the question if there is a growing demand for commercial kitchen space in the Sun Prairie area. Are there possible businesses that would use such a space, and might those businesses eventually spin off into the community as they grow? I am guessing there are. Both Golden Days Bakery and Capital City Cookies are great examples of food businesses. Add to that Carl's Cakes and the bakery at Market Street Diner all the way up to Village Hearth Bakery in the Business Park, and it suddenly seems like we're developing a baking cluster right here in Sun Prairie.

It is also interesting to note that the American Legion building already has a full commercial kitchen in it, as well as plenty of space for storing products, processing foods, retail, dining, classes, and a multitude of other food related uses. A great example of this sort of use is in Algoma, Wisconsin. Click here to learn more about their kitchen incubator.

If you or someone you know would be interested in learning more about how a kitchen incubator might work, and if you would use such a facility if it was available to you, drop Neil Stechschulte an e-mail or call at (608) 825-0894. If we get a significant response, we'll set up a meeting to discuss this idea more.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Sun Prairie Native to Lead Wisconsin's "Voice of the Biotechnology Industry" (Wisconsin State Journal)

Congratulations to Bryan Renk on his new position of Executive Director for BioForward (formerly the Wisconsin Biotechnology and Medical Device Association). He and his family have been producing seeds for four generations, helping farmers grow high-quality corn, soybeans and alfalfa through their company, William F. Renk and Sons in Sun Prairie.

We look forward to working with Bryan to expand Biotech business opportunities right here in Sun Prairie, as well as throughout the Madison region and the State of Wisconsin.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Sun Prairie Welcomes the Planet Bike Cup and the U.S. Gran Prix of Cyclocross to Angell Park (State Journal, ISTHMUS, USGP)

Local and national cyclocross enthusiasts say the Madison area is becoming a center for this arduous and wacky sport -- and the Planet Bike Cup at Sun Prairie's Angell Park Speedway, now in its seventh year, is drawing more amateur and professional cyclocross racers than ever.

New to the USGP in 2009, The Planet Bike Cup kicks off the Series in style on September 26th and 27th at one of the most popular venues of the Wisconsin Cycling Association Series: Angell Park Speedway in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin. Sun Prairie is located 15 miles from downtown Madison, Wisconsin. Cyclocross races have been held at Angell Park Speedway since 2003 and this year the venue will get the USGP treatment - the course is challenging and features terrain change, off-camber technical riding and some short sharp climbs. It's also a perfect venue for a good time

Last year for the first time the Sun Prairie race was sanctioned as a Union Cycliste Internationale-level racing event by that association, which oversees cycling events internationally, including the Tour de France. This year the race became part of United States Gran Prix -- a series of eight races where riders earn points that ultimately determine the best cyclocross riders in the United States.

Organizers say the number of cyclists in Sun Prairie could double from 300 last year to 600 this weekend.

Sun Prairie is proud to host this international event, and looks forward to a great race.

A special welcome to the many national and world class athletes competing here this weekend:

- Three-time world cyclocross champion Erwin Vervecken from Belgium
- Three-time U.S. cyclocross champion and world silver medalist Jonathan Page
- Swiss cyclocross champion Christian Heule
- Two-time U.S. cyclocross champion Tim Johnson
- Five-time U.S. cyclocross champion and world bronze medalist Katie Compton
- Three-time world mountain bike champion and Olympic gold medallist Alison Sydor of Canada
- World mountain bike champion and two-time Olympian Alison Dunlap

Click here for the full article in the Wisconsin State Journal.

Click here for the full article in ISTHMUS.

Monday, August 24, 2009

MARCUS THEATRES® Signs Agreement to Purchase 16 Acres in Sun Prairie (Press Release)

Company pursuing alternate options for new Madison-area entertainment destination

For additional information, contact:
Carlo W. Petrick
(414) 905-1505

Milwaukee, Wis., August 24, 2009 - Marcus Theatres® today announced it has signed an agreement to purchase approximately 16-acres of land in the Prairie Lakes development in the city of Sun Prairie. The 100-acre development is located at the Northwest quadrant of County Highway C and U.S. Highway 151. The development will contain a mix of retail, restaurants, hotels and entertainment venues and is being developed by Prairie Development Ltd, a Madison-based company.

Marcus Theatres is considering a megaplex entertainment destination to replace its existing Eastgate Cinema property, which will remain in operation until the new theatre opens. The new entertainment destination would feature 16 movie screens, including a 70-foot-wide signature UltraScreen®, in-theatre dining and a full-service restaurant and bar.

“The Prairie Lakes development is one of two sites in the Madison-area we are contemplating,” said Bruce J. Olson, president of Marcus Theatres. “The Prairie Lakes site offers excellent visibility and accessibility and inclusion in a high-quality development. A final determination has not yet been made, but this site does offer additional options and flexibility for building an entertainment destination our guests will enjoy without the added challenge and financial risk of developing the surrounding property ourselves, which would be required with the other site,” added Olson.

The company still has an option to purchase the 26-acre site, known as “The Crossing” at Nelson Road and Highway 151 on the east side of Madison. The company has obtained approval from the Urban Design Committee, City of Madison Planning Commission and the City Council on the general development plan, but has not yet begun the second round of approvals required on the specific implementation plan.

About Marcus Theatres
Marcus Theatres®, a division of The Marcus Corporation (NYSE: MCS), is the seventh largest theatre circuit in the United States and currently owns or manages 663 screens at 53 locations in Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota and Ohio, and one family entertainment center in Wisconsin.

About The Marcus Corporation
Headquartered in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, The Marcus Corporation is a leader in the lodging and entertainment industries. In addition to its Marcus Theatres division, the company’s lodging division, Marcus Hotels and Resorts, owns or manages 20 hotels, resorts and other properties in ten states. For more information, visit the company’s web site at

Sunday, August 23, 2009

New Copp's Store to Open in Sun Prairie (

The new Copps grocery store in Sun Prairie opens for business at 6 a.m. Saturday and will feature more fresh produce, more prepared foods and a full-service Roundy’s pharmacy, said parent company, Roundy’s Supermarkets, based in Milwaukee.

The Copps store, at 640 E. Main St., replaces the Pick ‘n Save at 2001 McCoy Road, about two miles away.

At 60,700 square feet, the new store is nearly 45 percent bigger than the Pick ‘n Save, which is 42,000 square feet. Built in 1991,

About 140 people will be employed at the new Sun Prairie Copps. All of the workers at the Pick ‘n Save will either be transferred to that store or to other Roundy’s grocery stores, Folczyk said. Employees are not represented by a union at either of the stores, she said.

The Main Street store in Sun Prairie — the 11th Copps grocery store in the Madison area and the second in Sun Prairie — will be open from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day. A grand opening celebration will be from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Monday and will include a $2,500 donation by Roundy’s to the Sun Prairie Education Foundation.

A 60,000-square-foot Copps store opened in March 2007 at the corner of highways C and 19 on Sun Prairie’s west side.

Click here to read the full article from

Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival - Aug. 20th-23rd at Angell Park

For more information on the Sun Prairie Sweet Corn Festival, click here to visit the Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Associated Announces Second Branch Opening at New Copps Food Center in Sun Prairie

MADISON — August 17, 2009 — Associated Bank announced today the opening of its third banking office in Sun Prairie. Located in the newly built Copps Food Center at 640 E. Main Street, this new Associated branch will replace the one currently located in the soon-to-close Pick’ n Save store at 2001 Mc Coy Road. The store is scheduled to close in conjunction with the opening of the new Copps. Both Copps Food Center and Pick ‘n Save are owned and operated by Roundy’s Supermarkets, Inc.

“This is our second new branch opening this month,” said Sana Khatri, District Manager for Associated Bank. “We have a number of exciting grand opening events planned. We hope everyone will join us as we continue to celebrate our commitment to the Sun Prairie community.”

The grand opening is scheduled for Saturday, August 29 from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm. Celebration activities include refreshments, games and prizes, and a chance to meet Bucky Badger. Radio personalities from WOLX radio will broadcast live from the new Associated Bank branch that day.

Grand opening specials will be available for new and existing customers of the bank. Customers can enter a drawing to win a Copps gift card at $500, $200, and $100 levels. This offer will run through Monday, September 7. In addition to the grocery drawing, customers will receive $50 when opening a checking account with a direct deposit. This offer expires September 30, 2009.

For added customer convenience, the 640 E. Main Street location will be operating Monday-Friday 9:00 am to 7:00 pm, Saturday from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm, and Sunday 10:00 am – 2:00 pm.

Associated Bank is part of Associated Banc-Corp (NASDAQ: ASBC), headquartered in Green Bay, Wis., a diversified bank holding company with total assets of $24 billion. Associated has more than 300 banking offices serving approximately 160 communities in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois. Associated offers a full range of traditional banking services and a variety of other financial products and services. More information about Associated Banc-Corp is available at

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Associated Announces Grand Opening Celebration for New Branch in Sun Prairie, Wis.

MADISON — August 11, 2009 — Associated Bank announced today the company’s plans for celebrating the grand opening of its new branch in Sun Prairie, Wis.

Associated has acquired the banking facility inside Copps Food Center at 2538 Ironwood Drive in Sun Prairie, replacing Guaranty Bank effective Monday, August 17.

“As part of our continued commitment to Sun Prairie, we are pleased to announce the opening of this new branch,” said Sana Khatri, District Manager for Associated Bank, “we invite the community to join us for our grand opening celebration.”

The grand opening is scheduled for Saturday, August 22 from 9:00 am until 4:00 pm. Festivities include refreshments, games and prizes, and a chance to meet Bucky Badger. Radio personalities from WMGN radio will broadcast live from the new Associated Bank branch that day.

Grand opening specials will be available for new and existing customers of the bank. Customers can enter a drawing to win a Copps gift card at $500, $200, and $100 levels. This offer will run through Monday, September 7. In addition to the grocery drawing, customers will receive $50 when opening a checking account with a direct deposit. This offer expires September 30, 2009.

Associated Bank is part of Associated Banc-Corp (NASDAQ: ASBC), headquartered in Green Bay, Wis., a diversified bank holding company with total assets of $24 billion. Associated has approximately 300 banking offices serving approximately 160 communities in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois. Associated offers a full range of traditional banking services and a variety of other financial products and services. More information about Associated Banc-Corp is available at

Friday, July 31, 2009

Queen of Bartertown Finds New Home in Downtown Sun Prairie (Sun Prairie Star)

The Queen of Bartertown has made a new home for herself in downtown Sun Prairie. Five years after she founded Badger Barter, LLC, Mary Jo Mangan has built her passion for helping businesses cut costs into a full-blown enterprise that boasts roughly 460 members and is growing fast.

Badger Barter is the Madison area's only locally owned barter and trade exchange. Their mission is to establish a business-to-business network for trading goods and services. Badger Barter is a clearinghouse for trading your inventory, goods and services into something you want or need. Badger Barter acts as a sales agent for its members creating exponential growth from business to business.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Governor Doyle Announces $28 Million Available for State Clean Energy Manufacturing Projects

MADISON – Governor Jim Doyle today announced that Wisconsin has been approved for $28 million in American Recovery and Reinvestment Act federal funds for its State Energy Program (SEP). The funds are the first part of the $55 million in Recovery Act funding the state is receiving for this program.

“With these funds, Wisconsin can work with state businesses and take a leadership role in clean energy manufacturing and create good jobs,” Governor Doyle said. “Wisconsin is the only state to target its SEP funds exclusively to manufacturing. Wisconsin has a larger percentage of employees in manufacturing than any other state, and we can leverage our innovative, high-skilled workforce to create clean energy products and processes.”

The Department of Commerce (Commerce) will administer the program. Eligible activities will include:

  • Reducing fossil fuel use in manufacturing by deploying renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies;
  • Retooling Wisconsin businesses to enable them to produce components of renewable energy systems and energy efficient products; and
  • Investing in renewable energy projects.

  • Projects must create or retain jobs, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, reduce fossil fuel use, and/or deploy renewable energy. Applications and program information will be available at the Commerce website:

    For more information on the SEP, contact Amy Cumblad at Commerce,; or David Jenkins at the Office of Energy Independence,

    Wisconsin Touts New Economic Development Programs (

    A discussion of Wisconsin's new economic development programs made's Money section. Click here to go to and read the full AP article.

    Tuesday, July 21, 2009

    National Manufacturing Survey Finds Economic Optomism (

    A new national survey of manufacturing executives found that most believe the U.S. economy would improve over the next six months, even as nearly half expected their own firms’ performance to decline.

    Overall, the survey found medium and large manufacturers were much more optimistic than small ones, which disproportionately made up the 12 percent of survey respondents who said their firm was in danger of failing. A majority of all executives cited customer demand as the top challenge to growth, followed by access to credit over the next 12 months.

    In other results:

    • Seventy percent of manufacturers said they planned to maintain staffing levels.

    • A majority expected to cut costs over the next 12 months, including operational (80 percent), supplier (65 percent) and labor (51 percent), while 66 percent planned to look for tax advantages and 65 percent planned to increase the diversity of their product or customer base.

    • Despite cost pressures, many were still investing in their companies, including 51 percent for quality improvement systems, 48 percent for research and development and 40 percent for capital improvements. Only 36 percent and 31 percent were investing in skills training and green programs, respectively.

    The June telephone survey of 300 executives by KRC Research for accounting and consulting firm Baker Tilly Virchow Krause also found that views reported by Midwest executives aligned closely with national results. The survey had a margin of error of 5.7 percentage points.

    For additional information on the survey or to request the full report, click here.

    To see the full original article at, click here.

    Fan 4 Ever retail store to close; online business to continue (

    After 4 ½ years, a Sun Prairie store specializing in Brett Favre memorabilia will close on July 31st. The business will continue as an online outlet ( ), operating from the back of a framing store owner Brian Anderson will open in Columbus.

    Blogger's Note: This was a great store that brought in Packers players for signing autographs right to our own backyard, not to mention they carried a great variety of sports memoribilia. You can blame the economy some for this happening, but I think Brett's actions this last two years played a major part in the store closing.

    Monday, July 20, 2009

    Continental Mapping Consultants Awarded Tennessee DOT Contract (Press Release)

    Company: Continental Mapping Consultants, Inc.
    Industry: Photogrammetry & Aerial Surveying
    Location: Sun Prairie, WI, United States of America

    Sun Prairie, WI-- Continental Mapping Consultants was recently awarded a contract for on-call photogrammetric mapping services by the Tennessee Department of Transportation’s Design Division. The award is for two years and is the result of successful relationship building with TDOT and the successful completion of the qualifications-based selection process.

    Continental Mapping has a growing reputation for providing high-accuracy photogrammetric mapping services to departments of transportation and other government and private clients across the country. Tennessee is the 12th state DOT that Continental Mapping has performed photogrammetric mapping services for, and is also the firm’s 3rd state master services agreement signed in the past 12 months.

    "We are honored to be selected by TDOT, and look forward to working with them on innovative solutions to their photogrammetric mapping and geospatial data development needs” said David Hart, President of Continental Mapping Consultants, Inc.

    With three offices located in Madison, Wisconsin, Indianapolis, Indiana, and Portland, Oregon, Continental Mapping was founded in 1999 in Wisconsin and specializes in providing photogrammetric mapping and other geospatial data development services to clients with demanding specifications, like the US Army Corps of Engineers, the National Geospatial Intelligence Agency, state governments, and many private engineering and survey companies.

    Ben Redding (
    Phone: 608.834.9823

    Click here to read the story in the Sun Prairie Star.

    Click here to see the full press release from Continental Mapping.

    Click here to go to the Continental Mapping web site.

    Wednesday, July 15, 2009

    City Uses Blogging to Track Events and Share Information With Local Manufacturers

    With the success we've had using this blog to track news articles relating to economic development in Sun Prairie, I've decided to expand our use of this handy dandy, no-cost tool for sharing information between individuals in some of our special areas of interest.

    For local and regional technology based manufacturers on the eastern portion of Dane County, Wisconsin including Madison, we have been facilitating a High-Tech Breakfast meeting on the third Thursday of every month. Meetings are from 7:00 to 8:00 a.m. at Market Street Diner in Downtown Sun Prairie. Its a quick, efficient networking event that continues to pick up momentum. The agenda consists of ordering something to eat, everyone introducing themselves, a brief presentation on a targeted company (what they do, what issues they are facing, etc.), and wrapping up with a speaker on a topic selected by the attendees. Topics have included the federal stimulus package, avaiable resources through the UW Small Business Develeopment Center, sales and use tax, and research and development tax credits. In order to help attendees keep track of information or updates on these topics, we've created a blog to allow for information to be posted and shared.

    Visit the East Side High Tech Breakfast Network Blog at for more information.

    More recently, we've rolled out a third blog for the Wind Power Happy Hour, a group created to promote networking and resource sharing between organizations and companies interested in the wind energy supply chain. Our first few events have been well attended and have included companies all the way from Milwaukee. Manufacturing companies, attorneys, consultants, utility professionals, renewable energy advocates, state government agencies, university representatives have all attended so far. The primary objective of this group is to encourage existing manufacturing companies here in Wisconsin to consider how their product might fit into wind generation products and equipment. In addition, the group allows manufacturers to network with other groups and organizations involved in the wind industry. The format is largely informal, but we are trying to incorporate presentations from specific companies and resource groups once every three months or so.

    Visit the Wind Power Happy Hour Blog at for more information.

    Blogging allows for a highly cost effective and efficient means of sharing data. It also provides an great way of tracking interest in the topics presented and the actual use of the blog sites. By using code provided by Google Analytics (no charge), I am able to track visits by frequency, geographic location, duration and repeat visits. It allows me to see what search engines and specifically what search terms are used to generate hits to each blog site. This information is only a fraction of the data that is gleaned by Google and provided in a readily accessible online report format that I can pull at any time. For private businesses, there are commercialization tools that are extremely useful. All this is made possible by simply adding several lines of HTML code to the site you wish to track. This can be done with regular websites too, not just blog sites.

    For more information on Google Analytics, go to: to learn more about how this tool might help you better understand how your websites and blogs are being utilized.

    If you want to know more about blogging or are thinking about starting one of your own, I suggest going to You'll be amazed at how easy it really is.

    Finally, leave me a comment to let me know you were here! Its another great aspect of blogging that we can take advantage of!

    Tuesday, June 30, 2009


    Data Driven Survey Reveals the Best Communities across the Country

    June 28, 2009, NEW YORK—Family Circle Magazine today announced the results of its exclusive survey to identify the best TOWNS AND CITIES across the country FOR FAMILIES. The communities featured in the magazine's annual roundup of perfect places to call home combine affordable housing, good neighbors, green spaces and A+ public school system. The results of the comprehensive survey appear in Family Circle's August 2009 issue, on newsstands July 7th.

    According to Family Circle's survey, the 10 Best Towns are:

    - Rockwall, Texas
    - Evans, Georgia
    - Sherwood, Oregon
    - Indian Trail, North Carolina
    - Edina, Minnesota
    - Noblesville, Indiana
    - Perrysburg, Ohio
    - Hendersonville, Tennessee
    - Kenmore, Washington
    - Sun Prairie, Wisconsin

    “We are especially proud of the fact that the focus this year is on communities with great school systems,” said Dr. Tim Culver, Sun Prairie Area School District Administrator. “Each year, Family Circle has a different focus for it's list. Last year, it was communities that are especially eco-friendly. This year, it is communities with great public schools.”

    Each of the towns honored is made up of forward thinking leaders, parents, teachers and students who are passionate about their hometown, dedicated to bettering their children's futures and involved in advancing their local school systems as exemplified by the implementation of such programs as partnering with local government in providing recreational amenities, private medical groups to ensure treatment for students who don't have health insurance and integrating dual language classes in grade school.

    “I've known for a long while that Sun Prairie students, teachers, staff members, parents, and community members are the best,” continued Dr. Culver. “They work together with commitment and excellence to create a great quality of life for everyone and launch our children into the future with a great education. I'm very pleased Sun Prairie will receive this special nationwide recognition it so well deserves.”

    Sun Prairie Mayor Joe Chase said, “The City of Sun Prairie is very grateful for this recognition by Family Circle Magazine and our community is proud to be one of the Top Ten Places in the Nation for Families. Our commitment is to continue to work with our schools to provide opportunities for all our kids, as well as maintaining a great quality of life for our families."

    Survey Methodology

    Family Circle partnered with Onboard Informatics, a New York City research firm that provides real estate, demographic and other data, to assemble an initial list of 1,700 cities and towns with populations between 15,000 and 150,000. From that, nearly 800 localities were selected with a high concentration of households with an average income of $75,000. Family Circle then assessed which places best met their family-friendly criteria—including affordable homes, quality schools, access to health care, green space, low crime rate and financial stability—and ranked them from top to bottom. Family Circle then selected the ten winners from among the highest-rated towns.

    About Family Circle

    Published 15 times a year by Meredith Corporation, with a circulation of 3.8 million and 21 million readers, Family Circle is one of the most widely read monthly magazines in the world. Family Circle provides smart relevant advice, sensible solutions, and inspiration in a voice that encourages and celebrates success in its pages and online at

    Media Contacts:

    Sarah Heck
    Communications Specialist
    Sun Prairie Area School District
    (608) 834-6562

    Neil Stechschulte
    Economic Development Coordinator
    City of Sun Prairie
    (608) 825-0894

    For coverage from the Wisconsin State Journal, click here.

    For a great editorial from the Sun Prairie Star, click here.

    Thursday, June 25, 2009

    St. Mary's Sun Prairie Emergency Center plans open house (

    There will be an open house from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday at St. Mary’s Sun Prairie Emergency Center, which will open July 1. The 24-hour center, with 10 treatment rooms and a helipad, is on 17 acres at Highway 151 and Reiner Road. It cost $7.9 million to build the center and $4.2 million to buy the land.

    SSM Health Care, which owns the center, also owns St. Mary’s Hospital in Madison. Plans eventually call for a “health-care campus,” which may include an inpatient hospital, at the Sun Prairie site.

    For more information, visit

    The following is taken from the St. Mary's Website...
    Those words describe the results of changes happening within St. Mary’s Emergency Services – all for the benefit of our community.The capacity of the downtown Madison facility at St. Mary’s Hospital has nearly doubled since 2005. Now with 29 private exam rooms and a rooftop helipad that’s linked by elevator directly to the ER, the hospital’s emergency room sees more than 36,000 patients a year. Bedside registration and testing, an electronic health record, medical imaging capabilities right in the unit and other efficiencies will make your visit as comprehensive and quick as possible so you can get back on your feet.

    Those same features and services will be provided to residents of the Sun Prairie area starting in July, when a 10-bed satellite emergency center opens at the intersection of Highway 151 and Reiner Road. The center, complete with laboratory, medical imaging and helicopter transport, brings quality care closer to home for thousands. The facility will be staffed by Madison Emergency Physicians, the area's only team whose physicians are all board-certified/prepared in emergency medicine. Nursing staff in the ER are specially trained and experienced in advanced life support for both adult and pediatric patients.

    Sun Prairie Home to New East Side High Tech Network

    Since this past April, about a dozen "high-tech" manufacturing companies located from Madison to Columbus have been gathering once a month for breakfast at Market Street Diner (110 Market St.) in Downtown Sun Prairie. Their goals: networking, finding out about each other's products, and learning more about how to improve their business.

    Lynne Chase, a manager at Market Street Diner and her husband Kent Chase of Intense Engineering are the official founders of this group. Kent said he noticed the lack of a group for more manufacturing based companies, and Lynne thought the Diner would be a perfect place to hold the meetings. The City of Sun Prairie has agreed to coordinate the monthly meetings, arrange for speakers, and to share relevant information learned at each meeting.

    Meetings are usually from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. on the third thursday of each month. Each meeting, attendees introduce themselves and their company. One company gets to be the "company spotlight" and gets to spend 10-15 minutes on their product. Finally, a speaker on a variety of topics identified by those who have attended makes 20-30 minute presentation. Topics so far have included the anticipated impacts of the federal stimulus package, resources available from the UW Small Business Development Center, and a great Q&A session on sales and use tax as well as R&D tax credits.

    The City also maintains a blog to track topics and share resources with this group. Click here to visit the East Side High Tech Network Blog.

    The East Side High Tech Network is open to anyone interested in attending, but is focused on technology based manufacturing or related companies around the I-39/90/94 cooridor. Contact Neil Stechschulte at (608) 825-0894 for additional information.

    Next meeting is tentatively set for July 16th. Join us!

    WPPI Energy's Roy Thilly Receives National Recongition (Sun Prairie Star)

    Leaders from Wisconsin's municipally owned electric utilities recently garnered recognition at the national level, bringing home four prestigious awards from the American Public Power Association (APPA). The APPA is the service organization for the nation's more than 2,000 community‐owned electric utilities that serve more than 45 million Americans.

    Roy Thilly, president and CEO of WPPI Energy, Sun Prairie, received APPA's Alan H. Richardson Statesmanship Award recognizing public power leaders who work successfully and tirelessly on APPA's behalf, forging consensus on national issues to achieve public power's goals.

    Since 1992, Thilly has headed WPPI Energy, a regional power company serving 51 customer‐owned electric utilities in Wisconsin, Upper Michigan and Iowa. For years, Thilly has been active on national and state electric issues, including reliability, transmission access, and climate change. He is also a past chair of the APPA Board of Directors. Throughout his career, Thilly has excelled at brokering consensus on a host of major public power issues and played a key role in advancing APPA's agenda.

    Malodorous materials don't stand a chance against Clean Gear (Sun Prairie Star)

    Funky odors, beware. Kathy Stensaas has your number. As the owner of Clean Gear of Wisconsin, LLC, which moved into the Sun Prairie Business Park in February, Stensaas has made it her mission to snuff out bad smells that plague materials of all kinds. From clothes that suffered smoke damage in a fire to unwashed hockey gear that has ripened in an equipment bag, Stensaas said she has the solution for making stench-ridden possessions smell new again.

    This is one great example of entreprenuerial spirit that is still out here, and it seems that Sun Prairie has a higher incidence than most places. Congratulations Kathy on a great idea!

    Tuesday, June 2, 2009

    EDC Hosts "Wind Power Happy Hour" (Press Release)

    More than 60 Attendees Come to This First Time Event to Learn More About the Wind Energy Supply Chain Here in Wisconsin

    The Sun Prairie Economic Development Council (EDC) hosted what was billed as a “Wind Power Happy Hour” on Thursday May 21st. The purpose of the event was for attendees to learn more about how area manufacturers and other private companies can be a part of the supply chain for wind turbine projects. More than 30 companies were represented, in addition to local governments, utility professionals, and renewable energy interest groups. The event was sponsored by Palmer Johnson Power Systems, Sun Prairie Water and Light, Wave Wind LLC, WPPI Energy, and the Sun Prairie Economic Development Council.

    The event kicked off with a presentation from Mr. Jerry Murphy, Executive Director for the New North, Inc., an 18 county regional partnership for economic development in Northeast Wisconsin. Mr. Murphy has led an effort by his organization to establish a Wind Energy Supply Chain Directory. The initiative, referred to as “Wisconsin Wind Works,” is intended to 1) provide comprehensive solutions to the Wind Industry’s needs, 2) connect the Wind Industry to capable vendors and suppliers, and 3) maximize connectivity within the industry cluster to encourage innovation and collaboration.

    The directory was initiated with the idea that it would be limited to the geography of the New North region, but it was quickly determined that there was tremendous benefit to opening the directory to all qualified Wisconsin companies. The Wisconsin Wind Works Directory targets the following classifications of companies:

    • Construction and Installation
    • Distribution of Materials (Wholesale)
    • Education/Training• Manufacturer/Service
    • Manufacturer
    ------Machinery and Equipment
    ------Machining, Fabrication/Tooling
    ------Metals – Foundries, Forges
    ------Plastics and Composites
    ------Other Manufacturing – Controls, Electrical
    • Other Services
    • Professional, Technical, and Scientific Services
    • Public Regulation/Administration
    • Real Estate Development/Project Management
    • Transportation, Logistics and Warehousing

    Sun Prairie’s interest in leading the effort to involve more local companies from Southern Wisconsin stemmed directly from the City’s strategic planning efforts in 2008 where “Renewable Energy” was identified as a growing target sector for economic development. Shortly after recommended strategies were completed, the American Wind Energy Association and the New North hosted a Wind Energy Supply Chain conference in Appleton on March 31st. City Economic Development Coordinator Neil Stechschulte attended the event, and was impressed by the support for building the industry. “Seeing a room full of 625 attendees at the Appleton meeting that included private sector companies, educators, environmentalists, interest groups, and utilities all in agreement that wind energy can help create jobs for Wisconsin was enough for me. I knew that we needed to have this same conversation in our part of the State.” EDC President John Murray stated “This is just one example of how the EDC and the City are working together to implement the strategies for economic development adopted by the City earlier this year. This event was a huge success, and we are already looking forward on how to continue this initiative both this year and beyond.” This potentially includes but is not limited to hosting a monthly networking event, and bringing in speakers on a quarterly basis.

    Sun Prairie already had several companies seriously considering participation in the Wisconsin Wind Works Directory, including Palmer Johnson Power Systems (remanufacture of transmission parts), Wave Wind LLC (wind farm development), Marysville Marine (weatherproof hatches), JK Hackl (transportation), and Town and Country Electric (construction). According to a show of hands, at least a dozen other local and regional companies in attendance expressed an interest in being listed as part of the Directory. The Directory now exceeds 200 companies throughout Wisconsin.

    Companies interested in learning more about the Wisconsin Wind Works Directory can contact Neil Stechschulte, Economic Development Coordinator at (608) 825-0894 or at

    They can also contact the New North directly:
    Christine Kaup
    Market Research and Development Manager
    New North, Inc.
    (920) 336-3891
    (920) 617-6073


    For more information about this topic, please contact Neil Stechschulte by calling 608-825-0894, or e-mail

    Additional Resources:

    The New North, Inc.:
    American Wind Energy Association:
    Renew Wisconsin:

    Wednesday, May 20, 2009

    Associated To Open Two New Branches In Sun Prairie (Press Release)

    Associated Bank announced today that it is expanding its relationship with Roundy’s Supermarkets, Inc. by adding a second in-store branch bank in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.

    Associated has acquired the banking facility inside Copps Food Center at 2538 Ironwood Drive in Sun Prairie, replacing Guaranty Bank effective Monday, August 17.

    Associated will also open a branch in the new Copps Food Center at 640 E. Main Street, replacing the branch located in the soon-to-close Pick’ n Save store at 2001 Mc Coy Road. The store is scheduled to close in conjunction with the opening of the new Copps. Both Copps Food Center and Pick ‘n Save are owned and operated by Roundy’s Supermarkets, Inc.

    “Our growing relationship with Roundy’s has added a tremendous amount of convenience for our customers,” said David Stein, Executive Vice President and Director of Retail Banking for Associated. “With the opening of our second Sun Prairie branch, Associated Bank will have branches in 23 Roundy’s Supermarkets locations in Wisconsin. We believe it has been beneficial for both Associated and Roundy’s, increasing customer traffic for both organizations.”

    “Our current branch at the soon-to-close Pick’n Save on Mc Coy Road is one of Associated’s busiest grocery store branches,” said Ruta Bastos, Regional Director of Retail Banking for Associated. “We believe the combination of an Associated branch in the new Copps and an additional branch at the Ironwood Drive Copps will bring even more convenience to our customers in this growing Madison-area community.”

    To ensure customers have continuous access to services in Sun Prairie, Associated Bank will open at the Ironwood Drive Copps on Monday, August 17, well before the anticipated closing of the Pick’n Save store at the end of August.

    The new Associated Bank branch at 640 E. Main Street is tentatively set to open late this summer in conjunction with the opening of the new Copps Food Center, just two miles from the branch’s previous location at Pick’ n Save.

    For added customer convenience, Associated will continue to offer extended hours seven days a week at both Copps Food Centers in Sun Prairie, in addition to ATM and night depository services.

    Associated Bank is part of Associated Banc-Corp (NASDAQ: ASBC), headquartered in Green Bay, Wis., a diversified bank holding company with total assets of $24 billion. Associated has more than 300 banking offices serving approximately 160 communities in Wisconsin, Minnesota and Illinois. Associated offers a full range of traditional banking services and a variety of other financial products and services. More information about Associated Banc-Corp is available at

    Saturday, May 2, 2009

    Wind Power Happy Hour Info

    Thursday May 21, 2009
    4:00 to 6:00 p.m.
    The Cannery Grill
    315 E. Linnerud Dr.
    Downtown Sun Prairie, Wisconsin

    Presentation on the Wisconsin Wind Energy Supply Chain Directory project with networking to follow. Qualified companies interested in being part of this directory will be able to sign up at this event. No charge for the event for attendees who have RSVP'd, $10 at the door day of event. Contact Neil Stechschulte at (608) 825-0894 or by email by clicking here if you have any questions, or to RSVP (May 19th deadline) .

    Sponsored by Wave Wind LLC, WPPI Energy, Sun Prairie Water and Light, and Palmer Johnson Power Systems, and the Sun Prairie Economic Development Council.

    Tuesday, April 21, 2009

    Getting Caught Up for April

    I've been a little busy here this month, and I apologize for not posting any updates here recently. We'll get that taken care of here today. Here is a short summary of some of the City of Sun Prairie's economic development activities from the past 30 days or so:
    • Performance of Sun Prairie Target Exceeds Expectations. Store Manager Matt Fischer told me that their sales have considerably outpaced projections for their first several weeks. It just proves what we've been telling everybody...Sun Prairie is THE place for retail on this side of Dane County. We look forward to what will be coming next on Sun Prairie's Westside Neighborhood.

    • Main Street Construction has officially begun. The City is actively engaging businesses along this corridor to keep them up to speed on construction schedules, street closures and utility relocations. Updates are being provided at weekly business meetings, through direct e-mails to interested businesses and partners, updating the City website every week (, and posting contact information through our local cable access channel. The City is also coordinating alternative route and access signage. This week, representatives from various regional media outlets will be available at 10:00 a.m. this Thursday to answer questions about advertising during construction. Questions regarding the project can be addressed by calling (608) 318-2436 or send an e-mail to mainstreet[at] It is anticipated that with this project, along with the desigation of TIF 10 along the central part of this corridor that a new "Midtown" area of Sun Prairie will emerge over the next few years.

    • EDC Roundtable Held. The Economic Development Council held its third annual business roundtable with a focus on marketing and branding the community. Attendees provided some great input as to how a branding effort might be undertaken, and the EDC will be considering its role in bringing groups together to help make this happen. Ultimately, a community brand would be the basis for community marketing efforts for a number of sectors. Key challenges that were discussed included defining our relationship with the City of Madison, differentiating ourselves from other communities in the region, and zeroing in on the specifc economic sectors we really wish to bring here. Look for additional updates from the EDC in the coming months. Anyone interested in participating in or learning more about this branding effort should contact Neil Stechschulte at (608) 825-0894 or by e-mail.

    • New High Tech Networking Group Formed. The City of Sun Prairie hosted two meetings of the East Side High Tech Breakfast Network, a group started to help improve networking, marketing and information sharing between technology based companies on the eastern part of Dane County. While originally proposed solely as a marketing event, the group decided that they wanted a detailed presenation on a local company each month, as well as brief presentation or Q&A session on a relevant business topic. This past meeting, Ron Pulvermacher, President of Matrix Product Development provided an overview of his company's products and services, and Amy Young Cumblad from the Wisconsin Department of Commerce provided an overview of the State's activities with the federal Stimulus Package. For more information and meeting dates, check out, or contact Neil Stechschulte at (608) 825-0894.

    • Workplace Readiness Summit Held. The Sun Prairie Area School District held a meeting of teachers and business leaders to discuss how to better prepare students for the workforce. Nancy Everson and Alice Murphy are working towards establishing several working committees by business sector, and will be actively seeking business partners to assist. If interested, please contact Nancy Everson, School-to-Work Coordinator at (608)834-6745 or send her an e-mail to nmevers[at]

    • "Wind Power Happy Hour" Comes to Sun Prairie. After attending the American Wind Energy Supply Chain conference in Appleton a couple of weeks ago, it was clear that there was a need for companies in our area to get some additional exposure to the growing field of renewable wind energy. We're tentatively planning on the afternoon of May 21st (4:00 to 6:00 p.m.) for a "Wind Power Happy Hour" event, where companies will be able to learn more about the industry and network with other companies with the same interest. Location is TBD. Additional information will be posted once available. Anyone interested in attending, sponsoring, or otherwise participating should contact Neil Stechschulte at (608) 825-0894 or send an e-mail by clicking here.

    • Realtors and Developers Tour of Sun Prairie Scheduled for May. One of the largest issues we face is making sure the development community outside of Sun Prairie knows what we have going on over here. To help that happen, the City is working with the Economic Development Council (EDC) to host a tour of local development projects and opportunities the week after Memorial Day. We will be selecting tour stops over the next week or so, as well as a location for a reception afterwards. Additional information will be posted once available. Anyone interested in more information should contact Neil Stechschulte at (608) 825-0894 or by e-mail by clicking here.

    I'll post additional information on pending events as soon as we have them determined. And I'll try to keep this blog more current this month.

    Friday, March 13, 2009

    St. Mary's Receives $476,000 in Federal Funds for CT Scanner for Sun Prairie Facility (Press Release)

    St. Mary's Hospital today thanked Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) and Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI) for securing $476,000 in federal funds for the St. Mary's Sun Prairie Emergency Center under construction in Sun Prairie. The funds, requested by Baldwin and Kohl, were included in the FY2009 Omnibus Appropriations Act signed into law March 11, 2009, by the President. The funds will be used to help purchase a CT scanner for the new facility which will enable doctors to determine the best course of treatment quickly.

    "This is a great example of our government leaders identifying a need in their districts, advocating for funding in Washington and using those federal funds to directly benefit people in our local communities in a very positive way." said St. Mary's President, Dr. Frank Byrne.

    The Emergency Center, set to open in July, is a department of St. Mary's Hospital, Madison. It will be a full service emergency center open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year featuring 10 treatment rooms--including one specifically for children, a lab with the latest equipment to expedite diagnoses, and state-of-the-art radiology equipment. All in all, it will be 13,500 s.f. of prompt and personal emergency care.

    "The Emergency Center will bring life-saving treatment and peace of minde to people in and around Sun Prairie who need emergency care," said Congresswoman Baldwin. I'm pleased to bring these federal funds to help construct such an essential medical facility. This type of federal/local partnership is vitally important to our families and communities, especially in such difficult economic times," Baldwin said.

    "Sun Prairie is a vibrant community with needs that continue to grow," said Sun Prairie Mayor Joe Chase. "We're pleased to have the St. Mary's Sun Prairie Emergency Center located in our City and thankful our local politicians are willing to make a case in Washington to ensure our health care needs are met."

    Monday, March 9, 2009

    General Casualty's Parent Company, QBE's Americas Division, Reports Revenue Growth (

    QBE’s Americas division, the U.S. parent company of General Casualty in Sun Prairie, reported net income of $236 million in 2008 on gross premium revenue of $3.7 billion, which is up 22 percent from 2007.

    QBE spokeswoman Anne M. Smith on Monday credited the company’s "very good year" primarily to growth by acquisitions and disciplined premium pricing to ensure adequate amounts were collected.

    General Casualty itself, a big part of QBE’s Regional Insurance business unit within the Americas Division since 2007, also posted positive numbers.

    QBE Regional, based locally in Sun Prairie, reported net income of $159.5 million on gross premium revenues of $1.17 billion. General Casualty, which writes policies in Wisconsin and 24 other states, makes up nearly 80 percent of QBE Regional’s total business.

    Overall, QBE’s Americas division has 42 offices and 3,200 employees — including 2,800 U.S. workers — in 20 states and five Latin American countries. In Sun Prairie, there are 824 full-time and 18 part-time employees, Smith said.