Monday, November 11, 2013

Bank of Sun Prairie Hosts SCORE Team for Small Business Assistance Nov. 22nd (Press Release)

Bank of Sun Prairie, in partnership with the City of Sun Prairie, will host a free forum for current and future small business owners on November 22.

The seminar is designed to help small business owners understand how to get a business off the ground or grow their current small business.

A panel of volunteers from SCORE will answer questions on various topics including accounting, taxes, business plans, sales management, human resources and much more.
SCORE is a Madison nonprofit made up of more than 40 business professionals who volunteer to counsel others on how to kick start their business or how to expand their current small business.

The Madison area is among the best cities in America to launch a new business. In 2009, CNNMoney ranked Madison as #20 in the nation in its list of the best mid-size metro areas for small business startups.

When: Friday, November 22, 2013
Where: Sun Prairie Public Library
            1350 Linnerud Drive
            Sun Prairie, WI 53590
Time:   9 to 11 a.m.

Participants can RSVP to Paul Sukenik, Bank of Sun Prairie, at 608-837-4511 or to ensure sufficient space and refreshments are available.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Colony Brands Leases 427,000 SF of Warehouse Space in Sun Prairie (

Colony Brands, one of the world’s largest catalog companies previously known as The Swiss Colony, signed a 10-year lease for all 427,000 square feet of warehouse/distribution space at 1615 Commerce Dr. in Sun Prairie, WI.  The lease commences in June 2014.

Blogger's Note: Congratulations to Colony Brands and STAG Industrial on this deal.  Sun Prairie has a long history with this industry and type of employer and welcomes this investment.  Getting one of the largest available spaces in the State of Wisconsin leased here is a great testimony to our local economy. Its also a reminder to the commercial and industrial real estate community that companies who rely on logistics need to consider Sun Prairie as a place for their business.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Cabela's Announces Sun Prairie Location (City of Sun Prairie Press Release)

Cabela’s has publicly announced their intention to build an 86,000 s.f. retail facility in the Prairie Lakes Development, located at the northeast corner of U.S. 151 and Grand Ave.  The store will open in Spring of 2015, and will employ approximately 200 employees.   Official plans have not been submitted, but the City anticipates this occurring in the next couple of months to ensure approvals in time to allow the store to break ground in the Spring of 2014.

Mayor John Murray released the following statement.  “We’re very excited that Cabela’s has announced a new store in Sun Prairie.   This national retailer makes Sun Prairie and Prairie Lakes even more of a destination for shoppers, but especially for sportsman and outdoor enthusiasts. We look forward to welcoming hunters, fisherman, and boaters from South Central Wisconsin as well as those who come to enjoy all that the outdoors in Wisconsin has to offer.”

Council President Mary Polenske also released a statement, saying “Our congratulations to both Cabela’s and Prairie Lakes on this announcement.  The City Council looks forward to this investment in our community, to continuing our partnership with the developer, and to working with Cabela’s to get their plans approved as fast as possible. ”

Neil Stechschulte, Director of Economic Development for the City of Sun Prairie stated “The fact that Cabela’s recognizes the quality of this site and wants to build a store in Sun Prairie sends a clear message to the national retail community that this one of the most desirable locations in the State of Wisconsin.  They will be a great user in a great development.  I want to acknowledge all the hard work that Prairie Lakes Development continues to put forward in attracting quality shopping opportunities to Sun Prairie, as well as the continued support of the Mayor and City Council for new projects in this area.”

From the Cabela’s Press Release:

Construction is scheduled to begin next year and Cabela’s anticipates a spring 2015 opening for the 86,000-square-foot store. It will be Cabela’s fourth store in Wisconsin, joining Prairie du Chien, Richfield and Green Bay. Also, the company operates a distribution center in Prairie du Chien.

The store will be located in the Prairie Lakes Shopping Center at Highway 151 and Grand Avenue. Prairie Development Ltd. is managing the development, which also includes Target, Costco and Woodman’s Market.

Cabela’s expects the store to employ approximately 200 full-time, part-time and seasonal employees. Most will come from Sun Prairie and the surrounding area.

The building will be built in Cabela’s next-generation layout, designed to surround customers in an outdoor-like experience with museum-quality wildlife displays. In addition to thousands of quality outdoor products, the store will include a large mountain replica, a Gun Library, Bargain Cave, Indoor Archery Range, Deli and Fudge Shop.

“Wisconsin has proven to be a Cabela’s kind of place,” Millner said. “We have a history of success in our Prairie du Chien, Richfield and Green Bay locations and we couldn’t be more excited to bring a store to Sun Prairie.”

Currently, Cabela’s operates 48 stores across North America with plans to open an additional 19 over the next two years.

The full Cabela's press release is available at:

Questions can be directed to:

Neil Stechschulte
Director of Economic Development
City of Sun Prairie, Wisconsin USA
Phone: (608) 825-1107

Friday, October 18, 2013

STAG Industrial, Inc. Signs New Lease For 427,000 Square Feet In Wisconsin (

STAG Industrial, Inc., a company focused on the acquisition, ownership, and management of single-tenant industrial properties throughout the United States, announced it has signed a 427,000 square foot lease of a warehouse and distribution property located in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin.  This building was previously occupied by Famous Footwear until 2011.  The new tenant has not been disclosed at this time, but has been described as a "major domestic catalog merchandising company" and the lease has a term of over ten years.

Blogger's Note: From our conversations with both brokers in this deal, I am confident that this user will be a great fit for the community.  We are looking forward having the one of the largest warehousing spaces in Wisconsin occupied again.   Its a great reminder to national companies and site selectors how great a location Sun Prairie is for distribution facilities.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Sun Prairie Walmart to hire 85 employees for new location (

The Walmart in Sun Prairie will be hiring approximately 85 employees to work at the new Walmart location that is expected to open this winter, according to a release.  Applications will be accepted at a kiosk inside the existing location at 1905 McCoy Road from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. on Sundays, according to the release. Applications will also be accepted online.  The majority of new employees will begin work in December to help prepare the store for its grand re-opening.

Read the full article at:

Monday, October 7, 2013

Paul Jadin: Madison region well positioned to lead state’s economic recovery (

Paul Jadin makes a good case as to how and why the Madison area will play a key role in the development of the State economy moving forward.

Read the full article at:

Blogger's Note: High growth industries, supported by manufacturing, a competive workforce, and an opportunity in growing our exports.  Sounds like a very good case for making our mark on Wisconsin's economic future.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Summit Credit Union and Pizza Ranch to Host Free Seminar on Understanding Your Credit Report (Summit Credit Union)

The information in your credit report can affect your ability to borrow money, rent an apartment or get a cell phone. Get the inside scoop on how to read your report and understand what it says. Attendees will learn what is good and bad credit and how to improve or maintain their credit score. Attendees will receive a complimentary copy of their personal credit report.  Pizza and soda are complimentary.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Pizza Ranch-Sun Prairie

Click here for more information and to sign up:

Blogger's Note: Something everyone should be educated about.  A good credit score is vital to a person's ability to be economically stable and successful.  Thanks to Summit Credit Union and Pizza Ranch for teaming up for this event in our community.

Sun Prairie Utilities Launches New Website (Sun Prairie Utilities)

Take a look at the new updated website for Sun Prairie Utilities at:

Blogger's Note: Some great new features with news and account access for utility customers. 

Monday, September 30, 2013

Hunden Strategic Partners Completes Hotel Demand & Feasibility Study (City of Sun Prairie)

Hunden Strategic Partners has completed their Hotel Demand and Feasibility Study for the City of Sun Prairie.   The study evaluates several sites for a potential hotel development, and recommends a strongly branded 120-room select-service hotel, including approximately 6,900 square feet of function space.

Click here to read the full press release, and to download the executive summary of the report.

Blogger's Note: A new hotel of this caliber would be a welcome addition to the City of Sun Prairie's Westside Neighborhood.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Bank of Sun Prairie's Anita Casper Recognized with Lifetime Achievement Award from Community Bankers of Wisconsin (Bank of Sun Prairie)

Anita Casper, Vice President of Operations and Corporate Secretary to the Bank of Sun Prairie Board of Directors, was recognized with a Lifetime Service Award from the Community Bankers of Wisconsin (CBW) at  their Management Conference & Expo on September 10-11th, 2013 at the Monona Terrace Convention Center in Madison.

Founded in 1981, CBW exclusively represents Wisconsin community banks with approximately 900 banking offices located in small towns, rural areas, suburbs, and cities. CBW members employ approximately 9,500 individuals and have collective assets of almost $40 billion.

Blogger's Note:  Congratualtions to Anita, and thank you for your years of service to the Bank of Sun Prairie and the Sun Prairie community.

City of Sun Prairie Represented at In Business Extreme Networking Event (

(Photo from In Business Magazine)
More than 350 people attended In Business magazine's 12th annual Extreme Networking Event on Sept. 10 at the Wisconsin Air National Guard 115th Fighter Wing. The annual reception honors the area's most influential business and community leaders.

Blogger's Note: It was a great event to get caught up with several Madison area business partners, but was also to great opportunity to recognize the men and women of our National Guard and the impact they have our community both in terms of protecting our security and being an active part of our local economy.  Thanks to In Business for the invitation.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Local State Farm Agent Aims for Huge Donation to Sun Prairie High School Through "Celebrate My Drive" (Sun Prairie Star)

Sun Prairie Students Against Drunk Driving (SADD), State Farm Agent Steve Pierick, and Drivers Education Teacher John Olson are hoping Sun Prairie will "Celebrate my Drive" during Teen Driver Safety Week Oct. 18-26th.  Sun Prairie High School is participating in the program to promote safety among teen drivers, along with a chance to win a $100,000 grant for safe driving programs and a hometown concert with Kelly Clarkson.

They are asking students, teachers, businesses, residents and anyone who drives in Sun Prairie to go online to and make a safe driving commitment once a day every day from Oct. 18th to the 26th.  You can also invite your family and friends to get involved or share the Celebrate my Drive page on Facebook (  When making each committment just indicate that you want ot support Sun Prairie High School.  Each daily pledge helps Sun Prairie make its case for the grant and the concert.

Any one or any business wanting to get more involved, please contact Steve Pierick at (608) 837-3783.

Blogger's Note: A great way for a business to leverage its corporate resources to help out out Sun Prairie.  Sign up, talk with your family and friends about safe driving and make that pledge every day!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Sun Prairie Companies Among Dane County's Largest Employers for 2013 (In Business Madison)

Just a quick note to acknowledge those Sun Prairie employers who made the Largest 100 Employers of Dane County list for 2013 and their contributions to our local and regional economy.  The following employers are headquartered in Sun Prairie, or maintain a primary location here:
#13 - QBE North America (
#55 - Frontier Communications (
#64 - Kobussen Trailways Buses (
#98 - Royle Printing (
The following companies have multiple locations throughout Dane County, inlcuding Sun Prairie:
#2 - UW Hospital & Clinics (
#3 - American Family Insurance (
#4 - Dean Health System (
#11 - St. Mary's Hospital (
#36 - Madison Kipp Corporation (
#45 - UW Credit Union (
#51 - Summit Credit Union (
#65 - Associated Bank (
Pick up a copy of the September 2013 issue of In Business Madison for the full listing, or check them out online at
Blogger's Note: Thanks to all these great employers for being a part of Sun Prairie!

Matrix Product Development to Pitch "Dash 7" Technology at 7th Annual Resource Rendezvous (Wisconsin Technology Council)

Matrix Product Development is one of seventeen companies from the Upper Midwest to have been selected to present science and technology-based products and research during the seventh annual “Resource Rendezvous.”

Matrix Product Development was selected by conference organizers to present during the “Quad Pitch” presentation segment.  This Sun Prairie company is developing technology, Dash 7, that allows battery-operated tags to talk directly to other battery-operated tags in a low-power fashion by using ad-hoc time synchronization. This would result in more efficient and secure operations for hazardous material tracking and sensor networks.

The conference helps companies learn how to increase their chances of receiving federal grants or research agreements with defense contractors. Produced by the Wisconsin Security Research Consortium and the Wisconsin Technology Council, the event will be held 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 19, at the Union Ballroom on the UW-Milwaukee campus.

For more information on this event, go to:

For more information on Matrix Product Development, vist them online at:

Blogger's Note: Good luck to Ron Pulvermacher and the Matrix Product Development team on their pitch to the Resource Rendezvous conference this week!

CTI Paper USA Launches New Cast-Coated Printing Paper Line (

CTI Paper USA today launched a new and comprehensive Kromekote(R) Collection of super-premium cast-coated printing papers to commercial printers and graphic designers in the U.S. and Canada.  Kromekote is long respected for its ability to deliver extraordinary print. The brand launch comes as many marketers today are expanding their investment in strategic, high-impact print.

"Kromekote is specified by printers and designers who require a highly differentiated, premium look and feel on their most important print projects," explains John Kelly, president of CTI Paper USA.  Kromekote is ideal for attention-grabbing print promotions, direct mail, brochures, book covers, business cards, presentation folders, invitations, greeting cards, retail packaging, labels and more.

CTI Paper USA, one of the largest suppliers of premium specialty printing papers in North America, modernized and refreshed the ultra-glossy printing papers line following its acquisition of the Kromekote brand earlier this year.

Privately held CTI Paper USA is headquartered in Sun Prairie, Wisconsin, and has regional sales offices in metro Los Angeles, Chicago and Providence, RI.  CTI Paper USA is one of North America's largest suppliers of specialty premium printing papers. Its diverse, innovative collection of branded papers and matching envelopes is specified by commercial printers, graphic designers and marketers. Products are available from authorized paper merchants in the U.S. and Canada and online at

Read the full article at:

Blogger's Note: In case you run into anyone who says "Print is dead," they obviously don't work in the field of marketing. CTI Paper USA continues to innovate, and is a great example of Sun Prairie's printing cluster.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Photo of the Day: Starbucks Coffee Ribbon Cutting in Sun Prairie's Westside Neighborhood (City of Sun Prairie)

Sun Prairie Alderwoman Andrea Gage joined Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce President Sue Olson and Chamber Ambassador Mike Urben at the official ribbon cutting of the new Starbucks Coffee shop at the corner of Prairie Lakes Drive and Grand Avenue in Sun Prairie's Westside Neighborhood.

Blogger's Note: Westside Neighborhood employers in the region can rejoice, as their employees can now get their coffee faster with this new drive thru.  QBE employees, stop in and say hello!

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Sun Prairie Utilities Conducting Survey on Potential Fiber to the Home Project

Sun Prairie Utilities is conducting a survey of its customers to help evaluate the need and demand for broadband services over a fiber optic network.  Sun Prairie residents and businesses are strongly encouraged to take a few minutes to complete this survey to help shape the direction that is set for this potential investment in our community.  Sun Prairie Utilities customers will be receiving a invitation to participate in their next three bills directing them to the online address of the survey.  Customers that have provided an email address to Sun Prairie Utilities will also receive an email with a link to the survey page.

To learn more, and to take the survey go to:

Questions?  Please contact the Sun Prairie Utilities office at (608) 837-5500.

City Approves Expansion of TID #9 (City of Sun Prairie)

On August 20th, the City of Sun Prairie City Council approved a project plan amendment that included a boundary expansion for Tax Increment Finance District #9 in Sun Prairie's Westside Neighborhood.   On August 28th, the Joint Review Board also approved the amdended District.  This mixed-use district was estblished in 2007 to help with land acquisition and infrastructure costs associated with the establishment of the St. Mary's Emergency Center.  The City retains three lots for sale in the original TIF District, but has not been able to come to an agreement with any prospective buyers to date.   The amended proejct plan allows the City to potentially participate in the attraction of significant users to the new area through direct incentives and to cover costs of additional new infrastructure.  It also injects a new revenue stream into the District to allow for the payment of current debt owned on the improvements already done with the former District boundary. This is critical, as the District has been decreasing in value since its creation. 

City Director of Economic Development Neil Stechschulte said "We are confident that this expansion of TID #9 positions the City to attract some special and unique businesses to our Westside Neighborhood Area.  We look forward to working with the developer to get some major projects approved and in the ground as soon as we can."

The District still needs to be certified by the Wisconsin Department to Revenue.  Additional questions can be sent to Neil Stechschulte at (608) 825-1107 or

Paul Jadin Talks Regional Cooperation (Sun Prairie Star)

(Photo by Jake Kurtz)

Previously known as Thrive, the Madison Region Economic Partnership (or MadREP) today works to foster a strong economic climate for Columbia, Dane, Dodge, Green, Iowa, Jefferson, Rock and Sauk counties.

Read the full article at:

Blogger's Note: There is a lot of work to be done, but under Paul's leadership there is a new focus on getting real projects done and a strong desire for real results in terms of new jobs and new investment. 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Thermal Spray Technologies Teams Up With UW to Improve Jet Engines (Sun Prairie Star)

Collaborating with researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison (UW-Madison), Thermal Spray Technologies (TST) has played a key role in the development of innovative thermal spray coatings to improve heat protection and fuel efficiency in the next generation of jet turbine engines.

The team’s experimental results were published in the August issue of the Journal of Thermal Spray Technologies (JTST) in an article titled “Application of Plasma Spraying as a Precursor in the Synthesis of Oxidation Resistant Coatings.”

Turbine blades in aircraft engines are subjected to extremely high temperatures. Thermal spray coatings are used to combat these high temperatures and to protect the underlying turbine blade.
Blogger's Note: TST and UW have a great history of working together, and are a great example of how much economic potential there is in commercializing research out of UW.  On Wisconsin!

SSM Health Care, Dean Health Systems Finalize Merger (Sun Prairie Star)

SSM Health Care, one of the nation’s largest Catholic health systems, and Dean Health Systems, a large multi-specialty physician group and health plan, have finalized a deal to merge Dean and its subsidiaries, including Dean Health Plan, into SSM Health Care. The merger became effective on Sept. 1 after all necessary regulatory approvals were received.

Read the full article at:

Blogger's Note: Now that this merger is complete, the City hopes to re-engage SSM Heath Care about the future development of the planned health care campus around the St. Mary's Emergency Center in Sun Prairie.

Zimbrick Inc. Acquires Chevrolet Dealership in Sun Prairie (

Madison-based Zimbrick Automotive Group Inc. announced it has purchased Stark Chevrolet in Sun Prairie for an undisclosed sum.  Now to be known as Zimbrick Chevrolet, the dealership at 1877 W. Main St. will offer new and used vehicle sales of all makes and models, as well as a complete body shop that was part of the acquisition.  Zimbrick Automotive will retain all 55 employees of the dealership, Zimbrick CEO Tom Zimbrick said, and the new general manager will be Steve Bell, a 22-year veteran of Zimbrick.

Read the full article:

Blogger's Note: Special thanks to Stark Automotive for all their years of doing business in Sun Prairie, and for their support of the community in countless ways.  We look forward to continuing that relationship with Zimbrick.

City hosts Realtors Summit at WPPI (Sun Prairie Star)

City of Sun Prairie Economic Development Director Neil Stechschulte (right) welcomed attendees to the 2013 Realtors Summit held July 31 at WPPI Energy, 1425 Business Park Drive in the Sun Prairie Business Park. Sun Prairie City Council President Mary Polenske (left) also gave welcoming remarks at the summit, the aim of which was to promote Sun Prairie as a place to live, open a new business or relocate an existing one. (Photo by Jake Kurtz)

A collection of realtors, brokers, financiers and other interested parties met locally last week for a realtors summit hosted by the City of Sun Prairie.  Held at WPPI Energy the afternoon of July 31, the event featured a keynote presentation by Kevin King, executive vice president of the Realtors' Association of South Central Wisconsin (RASCW).  Representatives with the city, Sun Prairie schools, local organizations and business, and public safety were among those who spoke at the event geared toward helping realtors market the community.

Read the full article at:

Blogger's Note: Thanks to all the attendees, and all the presenters.  We think we're going to try to do this quarterly with a shorter agenda.  And not on the last day of the month.  I promise.  If anyone would like more information about the topics covered, please contact Neil Stechschulte at the City of Sun Prairie.

City of Sun Prairie Hosts Wind Power Happy Hour Reunion (City of Sun Prairie)

It was a small group for our first meeting in over a year, but there was some great discussion as usual.  Highlight of the evening was a chance to meet Tyler Huebner, the new Executive Director from RENEW Wisconsin.  What was clear right from the start was that Tyler shares the idea that there is considerable opportunity for local economic development and renewable energy.  We have engineering and advanced manufacturing companies right here in Sun Prairie that do considerable work with clients in a variety of energy and power producing markets. 

As if to further demonstrate the importance of the private sector in renewables, Tyler invited me to attend a small group meeting at the Wisconsin Energy Institute with former UW Madison graduate Tom Werner, who is now the CEO of SunPower out in California.  Tom confirmed the competitiveness of U.S. R&D capabilities and discussed some of the newer technologies and policies that are changing how feasible solar energy can be. 

Some additional resources you might be interested in:

Sun Power Corporation Website:

Bio on Tom Werner from

Wisconsin Energy Institute:

UW grad and SunPower CEO Tom Werner touts solar industry growth (Capital Times):

Blogger's Note: Thanks to Tyler and RENEW for meeting with us, and for the invitation to hear Tom speak on campus.  Looking forward to working together to engage more companies like SunPower.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Inform Product Development Makes the Inc 5000 List (

NEW YORK, August 22, 2013 -- Inc. magazine ranked Inform Product Development #4935 on its seventh annual Inc. 500|5000, an exclusive ranking of the nation's fastest-growing private companies. The list represents the most comprehensive look at the most important segment of the economy—America’s independent entrepreneurs. Inform was also recognized at a Top 100 Engineering Company and a Top 100 Wisconsin Company.

The 2013 Inc. 500|5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2009 to 2012. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2009. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2012. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2009 is $100,000; the minimum for 2012 is $2 million.

You can view more information about Inform Product Development at their Inc. 5000 profile at:

You can also check out their web page at:

Blogger's Note: Congratulations to Edward Raleigh and all of Inform Product Development's employees on this well-deserved recognition.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Wind Power Happy Hour/RENEW Wisconsin Networking Event Set for 9/5

Wind Power Happy Hour Logo

We know the Wind Power Happy Hour hasn't met for a while, so we're having a family reunion of sorts! Come join us on Thursday September 5th for some networking to get caught up, and meet Mr. Tyler Huebner, Executive Director of RENEW Wisconsin.

Tyler Huebner has been the Executive Director of RENEW Wisconsin since June 1, 2013. Huebner has worked for the Wisconsin Division of Energy Services and the U.S. Department of Energy managing weatherization assistance programs. He has a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the University of Iowa and a master's degree from Stanford University in civil and environmental engineering.  

Where: Sun Prairie City Hall, 300 E. Main St.
When: Thursday September 5th, 4:30-6 pm
With networking afterwards at Eddie's Alehouse (next to City Hall)
Presentation: Tyler Huebner, Executive Director for RENEW Wisconsin at 5:15 pm

PLEASE RSVP by Tuesday September 3rd through the linked form below:

Questions? Please contact Neil Stechschulte at

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

City to Host Sun Prairie Realtors Summit July 31st (City of Sun Prairie)

The City of Sun Prairie is hosting a summit for Sun Prairie Area Realtors on Wednesday July 31st from 1-4:30 p.m.  The summit will be held at WPPI Energy at 1425 Corporate Center Drive in the Sun Prairie Business Park.

The keynote speaker will be Mr. Kevin King from the Realtors Association of South Central Wisconsin.  Other topics will focus on helping local Realtors best market Sun Prairie's assets including our school district, our library, and our public and private recreational and athletic facilities.  City staff will be available to answer questions regarding public safety, our public utilities, and current infrastructure projects, as well as providing a general development update for the City. Attendees will also learn more about the Locate in Wisconsin properties database from Mr. Luke Fuszard of the Wisconsin Economic Development Corportation (WEDC).

Refreshments and networking will be at Buck & Honey's immediately following the summit, and sponsored by Hometown News Group and the Star. 

Space is filling up fast.  If you are a Realtor, Broker or are otherwise involved in Real Estate in the Sun Prairie area, you can still RSVP at the following link.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Sun Prairie Sentry Store to Close (Sun Prairie Star)

Sun Prairie's Sentry Food store, a community fixture for more than 67 years, will close its doors at 1052 W. Main St. at the end of September or early October, with lay-offs of their 96 employees anticipated to begin as soon as Sept. 10.

Read the full article in the Sun Prairie Star at:

Over the years, the Sun Prairie Sentry Foods store received several "Best of Sun Prairie" awards for categories ranging from Best Customer Service to Best Produce Selection and Best Bakery. This photo from the Best of Sun Prairie in 2007 shows Penny and Terry Pederson in the produce section of the store located at 1052 W. Main. (File Photo: Sun Prairie Star)

Nate Pederson of Sentry Foods in Sun Prairie received the 2008 Community Business Leader Award for 2008 from Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Ann Smith (right) during the chamber's annual Business Appreciation Luncheon.   (File Photo: Sun Prairie Star)

Blogger's Note: Thank you to Terry, Penny and Nate, and the entire Conrad family for all their years of doing business in Sun Prairie.  They will be greatly missed.

Farm-to-Table Pizza at Salvatore's (Madison Magazine)

Photo by Nicole Peaslee

They don’t call it a pizza at Salvatore’s Tomato Pies. "The tomato pie is a uniquely special pizza,” says Patrick DePula, who opened the Sun Prairie restaurant in 2011. The tomato pie, the signature at Sal’s, is built in reverse, with whole-milk mozzarella, a little provolone and topped with fresh tomato sauce and basil. The sauce on top does at times throw customers off, but DePula is loyal to the recipe—it’s nearly a hundred years old and draws inspiration from the first pizza places to pop up in the United States. The tomato pie represents what a pizza was before it was “commoditized by the chains,” DePula says. No added sugar in the sauce, no preservatives in the cheese and everything is scratch-made. The same goes for the more complex pies, like the Farmer John’s Smoked Gouda and the El Valiente varieties.

Read the full story in Madison Magazine:

Blogger's Note: A great local business that does local food as it should be done.  (There is a legend that tells of a pizza called the Stechschulte at Sal's too.)

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Sun Prairie Native to Head New UW Health-American Center Clinic (Sun Prairie Star)

A Sun Prairie native will be the top executive at the new east Madison UW Health Clinic. John Sheehan has been named president of UW Health-American Center and senior vice president, University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics, after an extensive national search.

Click here for the full article in the Sun Prairie Star:

Blogger's Note: Congratulations to John and UW Health. John is another great example of a Sun Prairie native making a difference in our community.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Palmer Johnson to Host Habitat for Humanity Build Day Today (Palmer Johnson)

Blogger's Note:  A great program getting help from some great Sun Prairie companies.  Thanks to Palmer Johnson, Bank of Sun Prairie, and Complete Mobile Dentistry for the support of Habitat for Humanity and the Sun Prairie community.  Contact me if you want more information or would like to get involved.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Sun Prairie's Village Hearth Provides Bun for Longest Brat in a Bun Record at 2013 Brat Fest (Facebook)

Johnsonville Sausage, Pan-O-Gold Baking Company Set “Unofficial” Record at 54 Feet, 10 Inches
MADISON, Wis., May 25, 2013 – After several weeks of practice and preparation, 28 pounds of fresh pork and 45 pounds of dough, Johnsonville and Pan-O-Gold exceeded the current world record for the “longest brat-in-a-bun.”

The “unofficial” record attempt took place today at the 31st annual Brat Fest, at the Alliant Energy Center in Madison, Wisconsin. With Rep. Mark Pocan serving as the “brat authenticator,” the brat-in-a-bun measured 54 feet and 10 inches. Metcalfe said the record-breaking attempt is unofficial as it will not be sanctioned by any official organization.* His goal was to exceed the current record, set just last October in Prescott, Wis., when a 52.2’ brat-in-a-bun was made and served.

Staff from Pan O’ Gold’s Village Hearth bread brand carefully unwrapped their freshly baked steak bun and set it alongside the brat grilling on a handmade cinder block grill. Approximately 20 volunteer grillers then carefully rotated the lengthy brat, which took approximately 30 minutes to cook thoroughly, according to Johnsonville’s R&D Scientist, Jonathan Pleitner. “We turned the brat every 5-8 minutes, very carefully so as not to split the casing.”  Johnsonville used its traditional bratwurst recipe in this effort.

This record-breaking attempt was the second time around for Pan-O-Gold, which used its Village Hearth steak bun recipe. The company was the bun participant in last year’s event in Prescott. “This bun was the largest we’ve ever made, using 26 pounds of flour,” said Dan Futato, Vice President and General Manager for Pan ‘O Gold.

Approximately 50 bags of Kingsford charcoal were used. Once the brat was grilled to perfection, Brat Fest staff and volunteers rolled the Johnsonville brat from the grill onto the Village Hearth bun, cut and served up 110 six-inch brat sandwiches at $4 each. The proceeds from this record brat-in-a-bun were designated for the Oklahoma tornado relief efforts. This and other Brat Fest activities are expected to raise more than $100,000 for nearly 90 Madison-area charities that assisted with the three-day event, held annually over the Memorial Day weekend. Metcalfe said more than $1.2 million has been raised to date since Brat Fest began in the early 1980s.

Blogger's Note: Great businesses, great fun, and a great cause.  Thanks to all the folks at Village Hearth for their time and effort, as well as all the other great Wisconsin businesses involved in this event.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Social Media Breakfast Madison Takes Over Sun Prairie's Wisconsin Distrubutors (Sun Prairie Star)

Social Media Breakfast Madison, an association of Madison area social media professionals (and wannabes like me) took over Wisconsin Distributors, 900 Progress Way, on May 15.  They heard encouraging words from Michael Bussmann, New Belgium Brewery’s self-proclaimed “Social Networking Nerd” -- the one behind the @NewBelgium twitter handle and New Belgium’s Facebook page.

Click here to read the full article in the Sun Prairie Star:

Blogger's Note: Sun Prairie's own Tony Rodriquez is one of the key organizers of what I think is one of the best networking events around.  Stop in sometime and you'll see a lot of other Sun Prairie faces too.  Special thanks to Wisconsin Distributors for hosting the event, and for helping bring Mr. Bussman from New Belgium out to Sun Prairie.

Groundbreaking Ceremony on Sun Prairie's New Ice Arena (Facebook)

(Photo by Tom Gehrmann, Posted on - New Rink for Sun Prairie)

Congratulations to the Sun Prairie Youth Hockey Association on their groundbreaking for the new Sun Prairie Ice Arena, which will be two sheets of competitive ice that will serve hockey, figure skating and a host of other events and programs.

Blogger's note:  I dare say that this will be the premier ice arena in all of Wisconsin, and it will have a signifcant impact on our local businesses for a long, long time.   Now get that thing built!

Regional Economic Development Group Thrive Rebrands (

Thrive, the eight-county economic development group for south-central Wisconsin, is now known as the Madison Region Economic Partnership. 

Click here to read more at:

Blogger's note: While this may seem to be somewhat of an oversimplification, it communicates where we are, what our purpose is, and also aligns itself with the Statewide In Wisconsin campaign.  A smart move.

WEDC Launches New Website (Sun Prairie Star)

A new website,, designed by the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation (WEDC) to help new, growing and relocating businesses find available economic development resources, is now live.

Blogger's Note:  A good resource for businesses seeking oppotunities to grow and locate in Wisconsin.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

MATC Students go to Flight School Building Unmanned Drones (

(Photo by Amber Arnold, Wisconsin State Journal)

Thomas Kaminski, a former NASA computer engineer and instructor of industrial maintenance at MATC, sensed the growing opportunities in the field of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV's). This spring, for the first time he offered a class for students interested in designing and flying the craft. Sun Prairie's Matrix Product Development was one of three Madison area businesses that donated money for materials and equipment for the class.

Click here to read the full story at

Blogger's Note: There are plenty of beneficial uses of this sort of technology and this is a great way to get more people interested in the technology field.  Thanks to Matrix Product Development for their support of MATC and the technology sector in our local economy.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Coming Soon: Plate and Barrel at Buck & Honey's (Facebook)

Small plates, big wines.  Plate & Barrel at Buck & Honey's is a new adventure for the Buck & Honey's gang. Open date is targeted for August 15th.  Follow them on Facebook at:

Blogger's Note: Tapas anyone?

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

QBE's Van Herwaarden Named Industry Representative of the Year (Sun Prairie Star)

On May 9, Barbara Van Herwaarden of QBE Regional Insurance in Sun Prairie was named the Industry Representative of the Year at the 114th Independent Insurance Agents of Wisconsin (IIAW) state convention in Madison.

Click here to read the full article:

Blogger's Note: Congratulations to Barbara on this recognition from IIAW.

Friday, May 10, 2013

Keller Inc. Opens Sun Prairie Office (City of Sun Prairie)

Photo by Neil Stechschulte

Congratulations to Bob Poch (3rd from left) and the entire Keller, Inc. team on the opening of their Sun Prairie office in the Nature's Preserve Office Park.  Keller hosted an open house and ribbon cutting on May 9th.  Keller is a planning, architectural and building construction company that has worked on several projects in Sun Prairie including West Prairie Dental and Prairie Centre (Copp's West).

Orange Leaf Yogurt Prepares for Opening in Prairie Lakes (Facebook)

Look who's sign is up in Prairie Lakes, and who already has a Facebook page!  Now hiring!

Orange Leaf Yogurt of Sun Prairie on Facebook

Blogger's Note: I'm just glad its getting warm enough for frozen yogurt.

Renk Seed: Wisconsin's Independent, Family-Owned Farm Seed Company (

The current generation of the Renk Family who own Renk Seed are (left to right): Jeff, Brett and Alex. (Photo By John Oncken,

This article link below is a great historical overview of Renk Seed Company and their family legacy here in Sun Prairie.

Click here to read the full story:

Starion Opens New Sun Prairie Office (Sun Prairie Star)

Starion Financial has opened its second Wisconsin location in Sun Prairie. Starion Financial is a $975 million family-owned community bank with a full line of commercial, personal and mortgage banking services.

Click here for the full article:

Blogger's Note:  We look forward to Starion Financial helping out Sun Prairie businesses, developers and home owners for years to come.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Charter Information Sessions Highlight New Business Park Network (Sun Prairie Star)

Charter recently expanded its technology network in the Sun Prairie Business Park to bring more service options to area businesses.  The expanded network now features video, phone and several speed levels of Internet for businesses of all sizes to use to support their business needs.  Combined with existing Charter Business fiber technology in the park, which provides bandwidth up to 1Gb, this enhancement now creates a full suite of technology services available to Park tenants. Charter Business representatives will host information sessions on May 16 and May 22 to discuss the network enhancements and new options available to area businesses.

Click here for more information:

Blogger's Note: Both existing and new employers are continuously looking for increased capacity, faster speeds, and higher reliability.   Any expansion of fiber helps ensure the Sun Prairie Business Park remains one of the most competitive locations for business in the Greater Madison region.

Sun Prairie City Council OK City Contribution to Sun Prairie Ice Arena (Sun Prairie Star)

The Sun Prairie City Council voted to provide some financial guarantees and other assistance to allow the Sun Prairie Ice Arena to move forward this summer.   This preliminary agreement is subject to approval of a formal development agreement by the City Council and the Sun Prairie Youth Hockey Association, as well as approval by the Bank of Sun Prairie.

Click here to read the full article:

Blogger's Note:  This will be the premier ice arena for hockey and figure skating in south central Wisconsin.  Congratulations to the SPYHA on reaching this milestone, and we're looking forward to seeing the project get started in the coming months.

Renk Seed is Expanding Sun Prairie Facility (

Expanded territories and continued growth in its traditional markets are causing Renk Seed of Sun Prairie to expand its facilities.  A $12 million project under way at the company’s headquarters at 6809 Wilburn Road will double processing capabilities, more than double storage of bulk grains and increase by one-third the storage area for bags of seed.

Click here to read the full article:

Blogger's Note:  Congratulations to the Renk Family on the continued growth of their company.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Sun Prairie Farmers Market Starts Saturday May 4th

Follow all the Sun Prairie Farmers Market news on Facebook at:!/SunPrairieFarmersMarket

Blogger's Note: And I guarantee that the weather will be nice.  (I mean we're due aren't we?)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Fire Facilities Inc. Featured in "Made in Dane" Article (

While Dane County does not come close to the sheer density of manufacturing in the Milwaukee-Racine-Kenosha corridor, the area around Waukesha, or the Green Bay-Fox Valley area, the resiliency of the Dane County manufacturing sector was demonstrated during the 2008-09 recession. 

To help demonstrate this, In Business Madison featured 25 examples of Dane County's manufacturing muscle, including Sun Prairie's own Fire Facilities, Inc.  At #9, it states:
"Training is vital for effective, safe firefighting. From mobile units to high-rise towers, Fire Facilities, a subsidiary of Trachte Building Systems, manufactures pre-engineered steel fire training towers, but they are not just burn and churn. Each tower contains at least one live burn room, lined with the Westec Insulation System, to allow for repeated fires at high temperatures. Though their towers can be spotted all across the U.S., the business is located in Sun Prairie."

Click here to read the full article:

Blogger's Note: Fire Facilities creates a very unique product, and is just one example of some great manufacturing businesses in Sun Prairie.  Congratulations to Fire Facilities Inc. on making In Business Madison's "Made in Dane" list!