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Northeastern Wisconsin

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Outagamie, Shawano, Sheboygan, and Winnebago counties.

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Selected headlines — 6/21 edition of The Business News

The list

Area hospitals with the most beds

Not changing anything

Dick’s Drive-In allows customers to step into a time portal when they eat

By Nick Lauer
nlauer@thebusinessnewsonline.com

In a world that changes at the speed of sound, sometimes it’s nice to experience things that are familiar and consistent. After dealing with the pandemic the past year, people have a craving to have things the way they always have been. Few establishments fit that bill as well as Dick’s Drive-In on Crooks Avenue in Kaukauna. They’ve offered more or less the same exceptional culinary experience since it opened in 1955. “It was owned by Dick Sternhagen and his family until about 25 years ago,” said manager Heather Kantelberg. “My dad, Scott Lambie, and his brother Kevin decided to buy it. Now, it’s a family business all over again.” While most businesses are looking for ways to evolve in this ever-changing world, Kantelberg and her family have deliberately taken a counter approach to helping their business thrive.

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A packaging ‘first’

Elcho company’s new product is completely recyclable

By Lisa Haefs
lhaefs@thebusinessnewsonline.com

The newest chapter in the packaging industry is being written in an Elcho manufacturing plant. Paper People, the two-year-old brainchild of Mark Resch and Neil Bretl, just began production of the company’s patent-pending completely recyclable and compostable paper produce packaging with a wood fiber mesh window. “This is a produce packaging first,” owner Bretl said. “The new package is equal to, or better than, plastic.” “We are slated to start hitting store shelves across the country soon in an effort to reduce plastic waste and promote greener technology,” Resch said, adding the product is available in everything from pouches and rolls to premade and sealable bags. For decades, the food packaging industry has been dominated by plastics, whether it be the containers used for apples, oranges, grapes or vegetables to the mesh bags filled with potatoes and onions.

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People who make a difference

Conservation a priority for Labs

By Nancy Barthel
nbarthel@thebusinessnewsonline.com

Anyone who knows Jodi Arndt Labs knows she’s a determined person, and all that started when she was very young. As a child, she found solace and comfort in the outdoors when times were tough in her personal life. By about age 9, she came to an important life decision: she would one day become an attorney. “I had a really bad experience with the legal system at 8 or 9,” Labs said, recalling that as a child she was thinking, “ ‘I don’t know how, I think I can make a difference.’ ” A few years later, “I worked at the Manitowoc sewage treatment plant during middle school,” and there, she said she learned just how much energy goes into cleaning water. “That’s how I got interested in conservation,” she said. Labs has now spent 22 years as an attorney with the Law Firm of Conway, Olejniczak & Jerry, S.C., in Green Bay and, as she said, “If you’re going to work 50 to 60 hours a week,” then do something you enjoy, which is why her work focuses on environmental and employment law.

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Growth strategies

Healing business has grown

By Amanda Lauer
alauer@thebusinessnewsonline.com

It’s interesting how one “adjustment” can dramatically change the course of a business. That’s precisely what happened for Curt Draeger, owner of Integrated Pain Solutions. Draeger, a native of Antigo, earned his chiropractic degree at Northwestern Health Science University in Bloomington, Minn. After graduation in 1986, he and his wife Reva, who is also a chiropractor, opened up their first chiropractic clinic in Wausau. In 2004, he started working with the U.S. Olympic decathlon team. “Someone submitted my name to take care of the U.S. decathletes who were getting ready for the 2004 Olympics,” he said. “There were 40 chiropractors picked in 13 different sites across the United States. Of the 40 chiropractors, I was picked to be one of the two who went to the Olympic games in Greece.” “At the time, I was just starting to use whole-body (chiropractic) techniques,” he said. “Our kids were short, but they wanted to play basketball. I found that if I worked head to toe, checked everything, that I could increase their vertical jump by 2 inches. I did that same technique when I took care of the two guys that I went to Greece with.”

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