Subject: 03.03.2021 New North Newsletter

New North, Inc. Welcomes Walbec Group, Inc. as a Sustaining Level Investor!
Thank you Walbec Group, Inc. for your commitment toward regional prosperity for all through collaborative action.

To learn more about Walbec Group, Inc., click HERE.
‘Be the change’: UWO alumni couple upend careers to help bring equity to healthcare
UW Oshkosh Today
A year and a half ago Kou and Sheng Lee Yang took a leap of faith.

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh alumni and married couple had each spent about a decade following a traditional career path in northeast Wisconsin. Kou, a 2009 accounting grad, climbed from rung to rung on the corporate ladder at two global corporations, most recently Kimberly-Clark Corp. Sheng, who graduated with a criminal justice degree in 2010, went on to earn a master’s in clinical social work and work for Outagamie County, then a startup behavioral health clinic. She joined the UW-Green Bay faculty in 2018.

For all they’d accomplished and all they’d earned, neither was fully satisfied. Time and again, Sheng would come home from a day of work and explain to Kou how, for one reason or another, mental health services were just not accessible to parts of the population. She pushed changes in policy and procedures, but found little success.

Years would pass and the same conversations would repeat.

“We finally said it’s going to be super hard to change policy, especially in established organizations, so we decided to lead that change and be the change...

Premium Blend: Uncommon Grounds Caffeinates Region
Insight Publications
Seven in 10 Americans drink coffee every week, with 62 percent consuming it every day, according to the National Coffee Association. And there’s no doubt that coffee connoisseurs like gourmet coffee — about 60 percent of coffee served in the United States is brewed from premium beans.

Entrepreneur Dan Gould recognized and addressed that market when he launched Uncommon Grounds, a semi-industrial gourmet coffee roastery located off Interstate 41 in Appleton.

“I was trying to focus and target this region as a fresh craft roaster,” says Gould, who roasts 15,000 pounds of single-origin beans per year. “We have a pretty good following. I roast, package and deliver.”

Gould, who previously ran four coffee shops in the Fox Valley, became interested in coffee in the late 1980s when he picked up a book called “The Perfect Cup” by Timothy James Castle. He worked in various sales fields before landing on coffee as his business...

Starting slow pays off with steady growth for couple's maple syrup equipment business
Green Bay Press Gazette
“Do you have any maple trees on your land?”

It was a simple question Angela Schumacher asked her now husband, Jim, in 2008. He owned a cabin in Iron River and she thought it would be fun to tap for maple syrup. They walked the land and found that the woods were full of maple trees.

That discovery set them on a trajectory that would change their lives. Not only did they realize they loved the hobby, they also felt the equipment being used could be improved.

“The first year we tapped, we used a tall kettle over a campfire and it resulted in both of us getting sinus infections because of the smoke," Angela said. "It was so inefficient and a very long process. We thought there had to be a better way to transfer heat from the fire for a more efficient boil...

Refinishing success
Insight Publications
The next time you’re watching a basketball game in the region, spend a moment or two looking at the floor. There’s a good chance Baseman Floors just north of Appleton played a role in making it look so good.

Founded in 1926 by Richard Baseman Sr., who invented the riding gym floor sander, the company is well known for its commercial hardwood floor installation and refinishing.

“Our facility is one of the few in the country designed and constructed to renovate, sand, strip and finish portable floors,” says Joel Baseman, the great-grandson of Richard Baseman Sr. “In our facility, we can control the humidity and temperature, creating ideal conditions for refinishing.”

When refinishing the floors, Baseman’s employees work with 4-by-8-foot sections that clip together. Once the entire floor is finished, it’s taken apart and placed on special drying racks to keep them in the best condition possible for shipment and installation...

Tom Still: Statewide innovation evident in Tech Summit, Business Plan Contest
Wisconsin State Journal
Few are surprised to learn that Madison and Milwaukee are hubs for tech-based innovation involving young companies. Visual evidence, surveys, rankings and studies have shown as much over time. It’s a familiar story to many Wisconsin observers but only now getting the national attention it deserves.

What may be surprising to some people is the extent to which young companies are springing up in places outside the state’s largest urban centers. Two statewide events illustrate the point.

When the Wisconsin Governor’s Business Plan Contest closed to entries about a month ago, there were 251 entries from 31 of the state’s 72 counties and 83 cities, villages and towns, which was a record geographic spread for any one year. The mix was impressive for another reason: 100 entries came from women, which demonstrates startups are not for men only, and 66 were from people who identified themselves as part of an ethnic group...

Milwaukee angel investors form new network to invest in Wisconsin, Midwest startups
Milwaukee Business Journal
A group comprising former Silicon Pastures angel investors have formed a new angel investment network in Milwaukee that will invest in area startup companies.

Milwaukee Venture Partners, the name of the new network that was incorporated as a nonprofit, was launched by five former members of Silicon Pastures: Karen Plunkett, Matt Friedel, Guy Mascari, Jim Mathes and Peter Skanavis. The network also will support startups across Wisconsin and the Midwest.

Silicon Pastures also is a Milwaukee-area network.

“We want to coalesce leaders from our community who don’t yet know they want to be angel investors and encourage them to join our effort to build a stronger entrepreneurial ecosystem in our community...

WEC Energy invests $302M in wind farm that will serve Facebook
Milwaukee Business Journal
We Energies’ parent company agreed to invest $302 million to acquire 90% ownership in a wind farm to be built in Kansas to generate renewable energy for Facebook.

Milwaukee-based WEC Energy Group Inc. (NYSE: WEC) said Monday the facility will be called the Jayhawk Wind Farm and be built in Bourbon and Crawford counties in Kansas.

Jayhawk Wind Farm will sell the energy it generates under long-term contract to Facebook, WEC Energy said.

The Jayhawk site will consist of 70 GE wind turbines with a combined capacity of more than 190 megawatts...

Kou and Sheng Lee Yang, launched the nonprofit Us 2 Behavioral Health Care. UW Oshkosh Today. Story Above.
COVID-19 Updates & Resources
As the COVID-19 begins to have an increased impact on our businesses and communities, we thank our local media for keeping us informed. Additional resources can be found on the COVID-19 Updates page on the New North website.

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