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Northcentral Wisconsin

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Selected headlines — 4/9 edition of The Business News

Employee now owner

Seizing opportunities helped Viegut, Colby Metal thrive

by Jerry Rhoden
jrhoden@thebusinessnewsonline.com

When Mark Viegut walked through the door on his first day as a general laborer at Colby Metal in 1986, he never imagined he would one day walk the shop floor as owner of the business that makes parts for a wide range of industries, including agricultural and healthcare. But he grew with the Colby, Wis., company, which was founded as an offshoot by Leonard Nemschoff, who owned a wood furniture business and saw an opportunity to provide metal furnishings as well. Viegut picked his spots, applying for supervisory roles as he gained experience, and studying accounting at Northcentral Technical College to enhance his skill set and employability. When Nemschoff retired and presented the Vieguts with a chance at minority ownership, they found themselves with their most important decision yet. “We didn’t want ownership to go elsewhere,” said Darla Viegut, who left her position as a nursing supervisor with Marshfield Clinic to join Colby Metal in human resources and business development in 2011.Read More

Ahead of the curve

Southern Stretch Forming specializes in stretching, bending metal

by Jerry Rhoden
jrhoden@thebusinessnewsonline.com

To say that architectural metal work has its roots in the woods of Wisconsin isn’t much of a stretch, but the lengths to which Southern Stretch Forming has taken the craft definitely is. Formed in Denton, Texas, in 1991, Southern Stretch Forming opened a branch in Wausau’s west-side industrial park in 2014. “It started with the window industry years and years ago. And then gradually that turned into metal window frames and curtain walls,” said Rob Seils, national sales manager for the company. “It was decided that Wausau was an ideal location because it’s known around the country as a hub for architectural steel and aluminum.” Southern Stretch Forming is at a key spot in that hub, across Stewart Avenue from Linetec, a valued customer, and near the on/off ramps of Highway 29. Coincidentally, the company’s 55,000 square feet of space at 7500 W. Stewart Ave. was previously occupied by another valued customer, Wausau Window & Wall.Read More

People who make a difference

Connaughty strives to raise awareness

by Lori Lodes
llodes@thebusinessnewsonline.com

The proverb that it takes a village to raise a child is more than adage for Keri Anne Connaughty. Her vibrant embracement of life is something she attributes to the mentors who helped to build her up during a difficult childhood. Today, she gives her heart to providing the same to others in the Wausau community, particularly through domestic-violence awareness. That cause is something that has struck far too close to home for Connaughty, who provides professional services including human resources consulting, business development and marketing at Schenck, S.C. Connaughty was already involved in creating more community awareness of domestic violence when, her life was turned upside down in 2013 when she lost her sister, Kira, to homicide by domestic violence. The aftermath of the tragedy left Connaughty, who is typically a happy, bubbly person, in a very dark place, one in which she was constantly living her life in fear.Read More

Growth Strategies

Marshfield company specializes in lamination process

by Lori Lodes
llodes@thebusinessnewsonline.com

Central Wisconsin is home to an abundance of water-based amenities, and water is also at the heart of the innovative printing that has brough success for Identity Custom Imaging, LLC. Identity Custom Imaging, 10496 Stadt Rd. in Marshfield, started in the back of another business’s building. At the time, Dean Haferman, president and CEO of the company, was recovering from knee surgery and knew he didn’t want to return to being a flooring subcontractor. While going through rehabilitation, Haferman hung around his friend Lonny Damewood’s prosthetics business and learned about a lamination process that was popular with people who wanted to make their broken gun stocks virtually indestructible while also adding a pattern. When he saw an article about hydrographics in a prosthetics industry magazine, they didn’t waste any time. They did their research about the process and a week later, in March 2011, were on their way to Texas to be trained.Read More

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