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.