Friday, January 29, 2010

Our View: Super Jimmy - Attend Jimmy’s Big Day and the Warm-up Ceremonies, Too (Sun Prairie Star)

[An Editorial from the Star...]

Although the theme for this year’s Groundhog Day festivities is “Super Jimmy,” the famous furry forecaster will have to be some kind of superanimal to keep up with the Groundhog Day festivities occurring throughout Sun Prairie during the next few days.

Those activities begin on Saturday, Jan. 30 when St. Albert the Great Catholic Church, 2420 St. Albert Drive, will host the annual Groundhog Day Community Celebration, which begins with a breakfast from 8-11 a.m., followed by entertainment and vendor booths.

A birthday party for Human Groundhogs (those born on Feb. 2) takes place at 8:30 a.m.

The 36th annual Groundhog Ball takes place Jan. 30 from 7-11 p.m. at The Round Table, 1611 N. Bristol St. featuring The John Roehl Eight Piece Band; tickets cost $7 each but individuals younger than 21 will not be admitted. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Sun Prairie Little League.

February 2: The Main Event
The eyes of the world focus on downtown Sun Prairie’s Cannery Square on Tuesday, Feb. 2, when the famous forecaster Jimmy the Groundhog arrives at Cannery Square via limousine escorted by a Sun Prairie Volunteer Fire Department engine.

Mayor Joe Chase, as legend has it, is the only person who can understand groundhogese and will relay Jimmy’s forecast of either an early spring or six more weeks of winter at 7:12 a.m. to the crowd assembled in Cannery Square Plaza.

The Sun Prairie Business Improvement District (BID) is co-sponsoring a Groundhog Day Breakfast Buffet at Market Street Diner -- at 110 Market St. -- on Feb. 2 from 6-9 a.m.

Whew! That’s a lot -- but we’re sure Jimmy is up to it.

Are you?

Click here for more coverage by the Sun Prairie Star.

Click here for the direct Groundhog Day updates from Groundhog Central.

Click here coverage by the Capital Times.

Friday, January 15, 2010

QBE in the News (Various Sources)

QBE's CEO O’Halloran Named To Insurance Hall Of Fame (National Underwriter Property and Casualty News)

The International Insurance Society (IIS) announced that Frank O’Halloran, chief executive officer of Sidney-based QBE Insurance Group, is the 2010 Insurance Hall of Fame winner. IIS noted that Mr. O’Halloran was directly responsible for over 125 acquisitions by the QBE Group over the last 20 years with the takeover of the Elders' insurance business in Australia the latest acquisition in QBE’s growth strategy.

“QBE's growth under Frank O'Halloran's leadership is nothing short of remarkable, both in terms of returns and global expansion,” said a statement from Michael J. Morrissey, IIS president and CEO. “I congratulate him on receiving the highest award in insurance, an honor he truly deserves.”

QBE has been a high-profit performer and now ranks in the 25 largest insurers in the world with operations in 45 countries driving three-quarters of its revenue from outside Australia, IIS said. The firm has weathered the recession by diversification of products, geographical exposure and conservative investments, and market capitalization has soared over $22.5 billion.

The Insurance Hall of Fame was created in 1957 and is administered by the IIS, which was founded in 1965 as a nonprofit corporation. IIS describes itself as the largest multinational organization of its kind with almost 900 corporate and individual members from more than 90 countries.

QBE Regional Names US Commercial Lines Leader (

QBE Regional Insurance, a unit of QBE the Americas, has named Andy Doll to lead its commercial lines operations. Doll previously served as vice president and chief actuary of commercial insurance for Fireman’s Fund, and before that spent 11 years at General Casualty/Winterthur Insurance Group in several roles, including assistant vice president of commercial lines and chief actuary. His new title is commercial lines senior vice president.

[Blogger's Note: Yet more signs for continued success and growth for QBE here in the States. Congratulations to both Mr. Halloran and Mr. Doll, and thanks for helping grow QBE here in Sun Prairie.]

Monday, January 11, 2010

Dane County Ranks #7 in Best Places for Jobs (

The author's of this article looked at Money's top 100 Best Places to Live and highlighted counties that also enjoy jobless rates far below the 10% national average. Dane County was ranked #7 largely due to the City of Middleton's position on this list, and the stability of employment throughout the Greater Madison area--including those right here in Sun Prairie.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Wisconsin Nonprofits Received More Than $172,000 From the Verizon Foundation (

SUN PRAIRIE, Wis. -- Nonprofit groups in Wisconsin received more than $172,000 from the Verizon Foundation in 2009, enabling 174 recipient organizations to improve literacy skills, enhance educational opportunities for children, and help domestic violence survivors rebuild their lives.
In addition, Verizon employees volunteered more than 2,900 hours to nonprofit groups throughout the state in 2009.

"Verizon has a long-standing tradition of working to improve the communities where we operate by supporting organizations that strive to make a difference in the lives of individuals," said Carl Erhart, president of Verizon's Central region. "Through grants and the generous contributions of time and talent from our employees, we are having a positive impact on our communities."

Verizon maintains a regional office in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.

Sun Prairie Man's Bank Quip Earns Him Champion Liar Title (NY Times)

[Blogger's Note: Since Larry Lagro is from Sun Prairie, and his winning entry is about banks I say this qualifies as economic development news (or at least some fun PR). Congratulations Larry!]

A quip that pokes fun at struggling banks has been named the top tall tale of 2009. The Burlington Liars Club has bestowed its highest award for this line: ''I just realized how bad the economy really is. I recently bought a new toaster oven and as a complimentary gift, I was given a bank.''

The line gives Larry Legro of Sun Prairie the dubious -- but serious -- distinction of being this year's World Champion Liar. The 58-year-old health inspector says he's ecstatic.

A judge says Legro's lie won because it was both clever and topical.

The Liars Club began in 1929 after local journalists fabricated a story about a lying contest.

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

CTI Paper USA joins Chicago Climate Exchange (

Sun Prairie's CTI Papers USA has joined the Chicago Climate Exchange (CCX), a voluntary, legally binding integrated trading system to reduce all six greenhouse gases with offset projects worldwide. By joining the CCX, CTI will be able to meet its internal commitment to reduce greenhouse gases by offsetting 100% of the emissions associated with the production of its premium specialty papers, ASPIRE Petallics and Currency.

CCX Exchange Participants offset a prespecified number of tons of greenhouse gases associated with various activities, conferences, special events, or business activities, usually by offsetting electricity purchase or travel related to the activity.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Royle Printing Awarded Prestigious Benny (Press Release)

Royle Printing in cooperation with MCD of Madison, Wisconsin was presented with the esteemed Benny – Best of Category for the Premier Print Awards.

This prestigious print competition held by Printing Industries of America has over 3,600 entries from printers around the world. The Benny was awarded for the submission of Flaunt Magazine 92 in the Magazines Category, Cover—Sheetfed: Interior—Web.

A board of high status judges reviewed the entries for the following characteristics:
• Even application of color
• Registration
• Degree of difficulty
• And the many variables that go into producing the final product

Congratulations to all the employees at Royle Printing!