Monday, September 24, 2018

Local Business

Briefcase 3/3/18

Wisconsin businesses will visit Germany in June trade trip

MADISON — Wisconsin-based companies that export their goods are invited to join a weeklong trade venture to the seventh-biggest importer of the state’s products — Germany.

The Wisconsin Economic Development Corp. is leading the trip, which will be June 23 to 30 including visits to Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Stuttgart.

State businesses exported more than $700 million in goods and services to Germany last year, a 13 percent increase on 2016’s figure, according to the WEDC.

“Germany is considered the powerhouse of the European economy, and the increase in state exports to the country make it clear that there are numerous opportunities for Wisconsin businesses,” Katy Sinnott, vice president of international business development for WEDC, said in a news release.

Wisconsin’s exports to Germany include industrial machinery, medical and scientific instruments, and aircraft parts.

Linda von Delhaes-Guenther, Wisconsin’s authorized trade representative in Germany, will visit Wisconsin in March to meet with companies interested in participating in the trade venture. Wisconsin firms interested in a one-on-one meeting with von Delhaes-Guenther during her visit can contact Stanley Pfrang at or 608-210-6777.

The cost to attend the trade venture is $3,100, which includes lodging, interpreter services, ground transportation and a market assessment specific to your company. Airfare from the U.S. to Germany and the cost of most meals is not included.

The registration deadline is May 11. Register online at​Germany18.

Investors, former CEO buy insurance outsourcing firm

A firm hired by insurance companies to handle auto and property claims now has new ownership, including a man who previously ran the business.

Paul Gross and Dan Wilson announced last week that they acquired a majority share of Insurance Claims Management, which has headquarters in Eau Claire and Springfield, Ohio. The duo are part of an investor group that bought the company’s equity and assets in an all-cash deal.

The company’s services include water mitigation, auto glass, first notice of loss and contents valuation.

Gross was CEO of the company from its founding in 2004 until 2014.

Wilson recently served as executive chairman of APU Solutions, a company that supplies parts for the insurance and collision-repair industries. He is taking over as CEO of Insurance Claims Management.

The Riverside Co., a private equity firm, previously held majority ownership of Insurance Claims Management.

Short Takes

• The Lismore Hotel, 333 Gibson St., hired Pete Bauchle as the new general manager of the downtown Eau Claire hotel.

Bauchle has more than 30 years of experience in the hotel industry with stints at several properties in the Twin Cities and at Adams Mark Hotel in St. Louis, Mo.

• Radial, an e-commerce company with an Eau Claire site at 1435 International Drive, has been named a “green business” by the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce.

There are 70 local businesses that earned the designation, which recognizes companies for their environmental practices.

• MANITOWOC — Investors Community Bank appointed Vicki Leinbach, chief information officer at Brillion-based Ariens Co., to its board of directors last month.

The Manitowoc-based bank has an Eau Claire loan office at 3603 N. Hastings Way, Suite 100B.

• Accounting firm Bauman Associates, which has offices in Eau Claire and Hudson, promoted a longtime employee to be chief operating officer and human resources director.

Bernadette “Bernie” Hull, who has been with Bauman Associates since 1981, is a principal at the firm and is versed in accounting, human resources and business administration.

• A three-day safety course for new or inexperienced mine workers will be 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on the last three Thursdays in March at Horizons Lounge and Banquet Center, 10769 Highway Q, rural Chippewa Falls.

The MSHA Part 48 course costs $350. To register, call 715944-9120 or email

From staff reports

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