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 http://www.familycircle.com/.

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 (Madison.com)

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 http://www.stmarysmadison.com/.

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 nstechschulte@cityofsunprairie.com.

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 nstechschulte@cityofsunprairie.com.

Additional Resources:

The New North, Inc.: http://www.thenewnorth.com
American Wind Energy Association: http://www.awea.org
Renew Wisconsin: http://www.renewwisconsin.org