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Northeastern Wisconsin

Northeastern Wisconsin

Serving Brown, Calumet, Door, Fond du Lac, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Oconto,
Outagamie, Shawano, Sheboygan, and Winnebago counties.

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Selected headlines — 3/1 edition of The Business News

Bubbling to the top

In less than a year, maker of CO2 cannisters reached it’s five year goa

by Nancy Barthel
nbarthel@thebusinessnewsonline.com

Back in December 2019 when Soda Sense leased its 12,000-square-foot production facility on Market Street in Ashwaubenon, there was an important decision the four founders of the company knew they needed to make: they could afford only one of them working full-time in the business. That person became Dean Henrickson. In fact, he was the only employee for a couple of months at Soda Sense. They incorporated in May 2019 to make it their mission to shift “the way all at-home soda-maker owners refill and exchange their CO2 effortlessly and sustainably.” Or, as their website light-heartedly explains it, “You’ve found the secret to endless bubbles.” The idea for the business was born out of personal experience: it can be a hassle to exchange an empty CO2 canister for a soda making machine. Read More

Taking care of musicians

Along with instruments Island Music offers teachers, repairs

by Nick Lauer
nlauer@thebusinessnewsonline.com

In a world that is getting more and more polarized, there is still one thing that brings the human race together — music. That being said, music needs musicians and musicians need functioning instruments. This is where Island Music, located in Neenah’s Fox Point Plaza, comes in. Island Music was founded in the early 1980s by Randy Stinski. “I went to school to repair musical instruments in Red Wing, Minn. My old music teacher started up an operation back at that time called The Student Musician. He was getting into the rentals of band instruments and he was going to be in need of a repair technician. After I graduated in ’81, I came back and started working for him” Stinski said.  “A few years later we moved our location down the road to a bigger facility and things got busier and the owner decided that he could either continue teaching or try to run a music store” Stinski said. “He decided to continue teaching, and he sold it to me in ’85.” Read More

People who make a difference

Erickson uses cooking skills to raise funds to help others

by Amanda Lauer
alauer@thebusinessnewsonline.com

Appleton native Dave Erickson, who graduated from Appleton East High School in 1976, knew that he wanted to be a teacher at a young age. “My grandmother was a teacher and I wanted to follow in her footsteps,” Erickson said. With that in mind, he earned an education degree from the University of Wisconsin- Oshkosh. “Teaching ended up becoming my second career,” he said. “I worked my way through college working in restaurants, and so I stayed in restaurants. I was the original kitchen manager at Good Company in Appleton when they opened in 1981. I stayed with them until 1987. Then, a friend of mine from college and I opened up a restaurant in Oshkosh and then another one in Appleton. In that time, I got married and had a kid and the restaurant business wasn’t conducive to family life. In 1993 when my lease came due, I decided to pack it in.” Read More

Growth strategies

Machine Technologies builds parts to customer specifications

by Jean Peerenboom
jpeerenboom@thebusinessnewsonline.com

Every day brings new challenges for Machine Technologies, De Pere, and that is why president Scott Verboncouer says he thoroughly enjoys his work at the company he purchased in 2018. Machine Technologies is a small company that serves manufacturers and businesses throughout the United States by making customized machine parts. “We build each item to a customer’s specification,” Verboncouer said. “We can do any type of parts for many industries such as military defense, the paper industry, mining or packaging. Verboncouer got into the business after completing a machine-tool course at Northeast Wisconsin Technical College. “What I love about the work is that it is different every day,” he said. “There’s some challenge to take on every day. It’s interesting to see how technology has evolved and the different ways we can use it to make things. My passion is how to achieve that. I love watching our people grow and how they use new technology. Read More

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