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Business in Brief – Feb. 27, 2023 Issue

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February 24, 2023

Capital Credit Union opens 2023 elevate communities applications
GREEN BAY – Applications for its Capital Credit Union’s Elevate Communities program – which assists local fire, police and EMS organizations in upgrading or purchasing lifesaving resources – are now being accepted, through March 31.

The program, which began in 2018, aims to help alleviate the financial stress and time spent by civic organizations to fundraise for necessary resources.

Since its creation, Elevate Communities has awarded $500,000 to local civic organizations, municipalities and other service organizations. 

Awards range between $5,000 and $100,000. 

Any fire, police and EMS organization located in Brown, Calumet, Door, Kewaunee, Manitowoc, Marinette, Menominee, Oconto, Outagamie, Shawano, Waupaca or Winnebago counties is encouraged to apply at

Acuity projects recognized nationally, internationally
SHEBOYGAN – Acuity Insurance announced several of its communication projects have earned awards for creativity in national and international competitions.

The company earned a handful of education video awards, including:
A Platinum MarCom Award and AVA Digital Honorable Mention for “Time Element at Acuity High.”A Platinum Hermes Award, Platinum AVA Digital Award and MarCom Honorable Mention for “Ethics: Fire and Fraud.”A Gold Hermes Award and Gold AVA Digital Award for Up Close and Personal for “Retail Tonight.”A Hermes Honorable Mention and AVA Digital Honorable Mention for “Made in America.”
Acuity also received a Platinum Hermes Award, a Gold MarCom Award and a Gold Stevie Award for its annual report.

As well as a Platinum MarCom Award, a Platinum Hermes Award and two Platinum AVA Digital Awards for its Happy Birthday videos.

First Business Bank earns top workplace award
APPLETON First Business Bank recently received a 2023 Top Workplaces USA award from Energage, an organization that develops solutions to build and brand top workplaces.

“It’s truly an honor as we prioritize initiatives that build employee engagement and belonging to continue to attract and retain best-in-class employees,” Corey Chambas, CEO of First Business Financial Services, Inc., said.

Those on the list are chosen based on employee feedback from a survey from Energage.

More than 42,000 organizations were invited to participate in the survey.

$15,000 in grants awarded to area nonprofits
CLINTONVILLE The Clintonville Area Foundation (CAF) has awarded $15,000 in grants to seven charitable organizations serving the Clintonville area.

The grants, which benefit a range of community causes, were distributed from a variety of charitable funds within the community foundation this year.

Sue Aschliman, advisory board chairperson of CAF, said the organizations receiving grants include:
Clintonville Area Food Pantry – $3,000 to ensure pantry users have access to fresh fruit.Clintonville Goodfellows Association – $3,000 to provide winter outerwear and boots.Community Clothes Closet – $2,000 to bring the Traveling Clothes Closet to Clintonville six times in 2023 to distribute needed clothing items in partnership with the Compassionate Connection Center.Four Wheel Drive Foundation – $1,000 to purchase metal display stands that will provide improved signage exhibits to assist visitor viewing and learning. Friends of the Clintonville Dog Park/Fiscal Sponsor City of Clintonville – $500 to support the construction of fencing for the Clintonville Dog Park, which is the Girl Scout Gold Award Project of Clintonville teen Cassidy Rose.Safe Haven Domestic Abuse Support Center – $2,500 to meet the needs of survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, including shelter expenses, crisis line expenses, gas cards and hygiene items.The Compassionate Connection Center – $3,000 to cover one month of costs for the Nutrition Mission, a weekend backpack program serving students experiencing food insecurity in the Clintonville School District. 
Canary Fund awards $15,200 in grants to local projects
GREEN BAY – The Canary Fund, a 501(c)(3) charitable foundation, recently awarded $15,200 to individuals and organizations in Northeast Wisconsin working to address unmet needs with projects throughout their communities. 

Pete Angilello, president of The Canary Fund, said this latest round of gifts represents a milestone for the organization, which has distributed $101,525 in grants to 55 individuals since its founding in 2019.

“With each grant cycle, we continue to be in awe of the many individuals who roll up their sleeves and work to make a difference in our communities,” he said.

Projects that received funds from this recent round of grants include:
Cara Wreen – STEM2 Girls, Inc.Kim Ricker – The Pink Warrior FoundationsSandra Schackelford – The Sandra Shackelford PapersAmy Behrend – You Belong Saturday Respite Events Barbara Koldos – 2023 InspirASIAN Speaker SeriesAndrew Phillips – In-Depth Journalism on Addiction & Child Welfare in Door CountyRachel Kuehl – Tanya’s TouchDon Krumpos – “Krampus” A Community Puppet Performance
Angilello said the Canary Fund’s next granting cycle will open late May and continue through late July, with grant winners announced in mid-August. 

For information on how to apply, visit

WeHub Women Entrepreneurs Summit to be held March 8
GREEN BAY – The WeHub Women Entrepreneurs Summit will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 8, at the Radisson Hotel & Conference Center.

Organizers said the summit was designed to be a premier forum for visionary women who want to discover the tools for success, make strategic business connections and feel empowered and inspired to take action in their professional and personal lives.

This year’s keynote speaker, Robin Walker, will talk about how to remain focused and reduce distractions as business owners.

More details on the event, including information on registration, can be found at:

Bank First merger with Hometown Bancorp complete
MANITOWOC – Bank First Corporation, the holding company of Bank First, N.A., announced the completion of its merger with Hometown Bancorp, Ltd., the parent company of Hometown Bank, effective Feb.10. 

Tim McFarlane, president and chief executive officer at Hometown Bank, assumed the role of president at Bank First.
He has also been elected to the Board of Directors of Bank First.

As part of the merger agreement, those who held shares with Hometown either received $29.16 in cash or a 0.3962 share of Bank First’s common stock in exchange for each share of Hometown common stock.

“We are delighted to welcome Hometown Bank employees, customers and shareholders to Bank First,” Mike Molepske, chairman of the board and chief executive officer at Bank First, said. “Hometown is a strong organization which has served its communities well for more than 116 years.”

McFarlane said his team “eagerly” begins the next chapter as part of the Bank First team.

“Since the merger was announced last July, employees from both banks have demonstrated extraordinary teamwork to help ensure a smooth transition for our customers,” he said. 

With the addition of Hometown Bancorp, Ltd., Bank First Corporation now has assets of approximately $4.2 billion, loans of approximately $3.3 billion and deposits of approximately $3.5 billion. 

Booth registration open for chamber career expo                                          
FOX CITIESFox Cities businesses can now register for a booth at the Fox Cities Chamber’s annual career expo, slated for April 18-19, at the Fox Cities Exhibition Center (355 W. Lawrence Street) in Appleton. 

Sharla Jens, vice president for employer and talent development at the chamber, said each year, the expo attracts more than 3,000 eighth through twelfth-grade students from around the Fox Cities.    
“Now, more than ever, we recognize the importance of these K-16 outreach programs as a way of attracting and retaining much-needed talent in the Fox Cities,” she said. “Our employers value the opportunity to inspire and connect with the next generation at this event.”

Students will receive information on career opportunities, expected starting salaries and job titles, skills and interests of employees, supporting high school coursework and any post-high school training or education needed for that employer/job.  
Contact Jens at for more information.

NEWCA annual meeting set for Feb. 28 
NORTHEAST WISCONSIN – The NEW Construction Alliance’s (NEWCA) annual meeting is set for 3 p.m. Feb. 28 on the upper level of Holidays Pub & Grill (3950 N. Richmond St.) in Neenah.

Dennis Winters, chief economist of the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development, will share insights on economic indicators and workforce trends for 2023 at the meeting. 

NEWCA board members will subsequently provide updates on the alliance’s priorities this year.

Organizations interested in learning more about the alliance and/or who are part of the construction industry are welcome and encouraged to participate.

There is no cost to attend the event and attendees do not need to be a NEWCA member.

The meeting will be followed by an on-site networking reception until 6 p.m.

A cash bar will be available, and light hors d’oeuvres will be provided.

Questions about the event can be directed to Jason Mathwig, New North, Inc. industry alliance director, at or (920) 336-3860.

More information on the event, including details on registration, can be found at

Green Bay Innovation Group to host paper industry event
GREEN BAY – The Green Bay Innovation Group will host an all-day event complete with keynote speakers and a panel discussion on Building Back the Wisconsin Paper Industry.

The event – which aims to highlight the impact and importance of the paper industry – will be from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. March 2, at the Johnsonville Tailgate Village in the Lambeau Field parking lot.

For more information, visit

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