Small Business Times: Wisconsin Business & Technology Expo

Last-minute registrations are still being accepted for the first Wisconsin Business & Technology Expo, which will take place this Wednesday and Thursday, April 20-21, at the Wisconsin Expo Center in State Fair Park. The Wisconsin Business & Technology Expo, which will showcase the most innovative products, technologies and services provided by companies throughout the state, is presented by Small Business Times.

The Expo is actually a collection of several events over two days. Company presidents, chief executive officers, owners and other top executives can register to attend the Expo for free at or by calling (414) 277-8181, ext. 129. The Expo will feature more than 180 exhibit booths reserved by companies and organizations.

Expo attendees also can attend for free seminars presented by experts with advice on how to grow their businesses.

Free Expo seminars on Wednesday, April 20, will include:

— “Establishing Key Performance Measures Within Your Organization,” presented by Phil Mydlach, president of Mydlach Management Advisors LLC. (9:15 to 10 a.m.)

— “Corporate Wellness: Disease Prevention to Disease Management,” presented by Dr. John Whitcomb of Aurora Health Care. (9:15 to 10 a.m.)

— “Why Your Web Site didn’t Make the Top 10 on Google: Optimizing Your Site for Search Engines,” presented by Kirk Strong, Web manager for Strong Interactive Media Inc. (10:30 to 11:15 a.m.)

— “Six Creative Ways to Build Your Business Using E-mail Marketing,” presented by Johnathan Crawford, president of Data Dog Marketing, and Broadlook Technologies, Northwoods Software and Brevient Technologies. (10:30 to 11:15 a.m.)

— “Sudden Impact ROI; Locally Developed Technology Can Help You Identify and Contact New Prospects, Manage Your Internet Presence and Content, and Enhance Your Sales Process with CRM,” presented by Broadlook Technologies, Northwoods Software and Brevient Technologies.

— “65 Ways to Recruit Great People,” presented by Carol Schneider, CEO of SEEK Careers/Staffing. (1:45 to 2:30 p.m.)

— “Dieting Tips For The Healthcare Appetite: 10 Ways to Make Employers and Employees Savvy Consumers of Healthcare,” presented by Jon Rauser and Andrew Wadsworth of The Rauser Agency. (2:45 to 3:30 p.m.)

— “World Class Customer Service Begins With Me,” presented by J.R. Rodgers, president of Dale Carnegie. (2:45 to 3:30 p.m.)

Free Expo seminars on Thursday, April 21, will include:

— “Buying or Selling a Business – Upfront Preparation and Steps of the Transaction,” presented by Bill Komisar of Komisar Brady & Co. LLP and Kent Velde of Wisconsin Growth Fund LLC. (9:15 a.m. to 10 a.m.)

— “How to be Productive in a Mobile Environment with Wireless Broadband,” presented by Verizon Wireless. (9:15 a.m. to 10 a.m.)

— “China: Ride the Dragon or Feel its Fire. Strategies on Exporting to, Importing from and Sourcing Manufacturing in China,” presented by Jim Meinert, retired CEO of Snider Mold Co, and Paul Churchill of the U.S. Department of Commerce Export Assistance Center. (10:30 to 11:15 a.m.)

— “BRANDeliver = BRANDemand: Practical Tips and Tools to Strengthen Your Presence in the Marketplace,” presented by John Thiel, president, and Keith Walters, planning director, and Keith Walters, planning director, of Thiel Design. (10:30 to 11:15 a.m.)

— “Tax Advantaged Solutions for S-Corporation Owners and Executives: An Insider’s View,” presented by Steve Parrish, Principal Financial Group. (1:45 to 2:30 p.m.)

— “Employee Theft Happens in Companies Just Like Yours. You’ll Learn How to Identify and Prevent Employee Theft,” presented by Elizabeth Neary, J.D., The Schroeder Group. (1:45 to 2:30 p.m.)

— “Unlock the Value Potential of Your Sales Force,” presented by Jerry Stapleton, president of Stapleton Resources LLC. (1:45 to 3:30 p.m.)

— “Media and Public Relations Strategies,” presented by Steve Jagler, executive editor of Small Business Times, and Evan Zeppos, president of Zeppos & Associates Inc. (1:45 to 3:30 p.m.)

The Expo also will feature several premium events, including:

The Bravo! Entrepreneurs Awards Luncheon

The first SBT Bravo! Entrepreneurs Awards will be presented at a luncheon on Wednesday, April 20, from 11:30 to 1:30 a.m. The winners of the awards are entrepreneurs who will be honored for their bold creativity and innovations in business.

Tim Sheehy, president of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce (MMAC), will provide a keynote address about regional cooperation in business, followed by a panel discussion with the award winners. The highlight of the luncheon will be the presentation of the Lifetime Achievement Award to George Dalton, the venerable founder of three successful Wisconsin businesses. Russ Reynolds, CEO of Batteries Plus LLC, Hartland, will receive the first Regional Spirit Award.

The winners of the 2005 Small Business Times Bravo! Entrepreneur Awards to be honored at the luncheon are:

— Dennis Backhaus, Spiros Industries, West Bend

— Paula Hare, Hare Strigenz Design, Milwaukee

— James Lindenberg, World Class Wire & Cable Inc., New Berlin

— Scott Mayer, QPS Companies Inc., Brookfield

— Robert McNamara, FJA Christiansen Roofing Co., Inc., Milwaukee

— Chris Schmus, ProDriver Leasing Systems Inc., Greenfield

— Matthew Tharaniyil, Bloom Consultants LLC, Wauwatosa

— Gregg Tushaus, Tushaus Computer Services Inc., Wauwatosa

— Neal Verfuerth, Orion Energy Services Ltd., Plymouth

— Regional Spirit Award: Russ Reynolds, Batteries Plus LLC, Hartland

— Lifetime Achievement Award: George Dalton, NOVO 1 Inc., Waukesha

The Expo After-Hours Regional Networking Event

The first Expo After-Hours Regional Networking Event, the largest of its kind in southeastern Wisconsin, will take place Wednesday, April 20, from 4:30 to 7 p.m. Attendees will include members of the region’s leading chambers of commerce. The reception will include a brief ceremony to mark the 10th anniversary of Small Business Times.

The IQ (Innovation Quotient) Awards Luncheon

The first IQ (Innovation Quotient) Awards will be presented at a luncheon on Thursday, April 21, from 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. The winners of the IQ Awards are companies that are creating a positive impact on the region with innovative best practices. Kevin Gilroy, senior vice president and general manager of Hewlett-Packard Co.’s small and medium business segment, will be the keynote speaker at the IQ Awards Luncheon. Gilroy will discuss how emerging technologies that increasingly are becoming more affordable and applicable to smaller companies. He also will help attendees make decisions about technology that will provide the best returns on investment. The winners of the 2005 Small Business Times IQ (Innovation Quotient) Awards are:

— Business: Avicom Marketing Communications, Waukesha

— Construction & Commercial Real Estate: Whitnall Summit Co., West Allis

— Consumer: Kangaroo Brands Inc., Milwaukee

— Insurance & Financial: Mitchell Bank, Milwaukee

— Manufacturing: KAO Inc., Racine

— Medical & Health: Everbrite LLC, Greenfield

— Nonprofit: Wisconsin Foundation for Independent Colleges, Milwaukee

— Software: Webcom Inc., Milwaukee

— Technology/Internet: ARI Network Services Inc., Milwaukee

— Telecommunications: The Frantz Group, Grafton

All of the winners of the Bravo! Entrepreneur Awards and the IQ (Innovation Quotient) Awards will be profiled in a special publication to be distributed at the Expo and in the April 29 edition of Small Business Times. The award winners were selected from dozens of nominations submitted to Small Business Times. An independent panel of businesspeople judged the nominations. The judges included: Michael John, vice president of corporate communications, Menasha Corp.; John Emory Jr., managing director of Emory business Advisors LLC; Jo Hawkins Donovan, founder of Hawkins Donovan & Associates Ltd. and an SBT columnist on executive coaching; and John Beckwith, senior vice president of State Financial Bank.

Additional information about all of the events at the Wisconsin Business & Technology Expo is available at