WisBusiness: Fifty-two Companies Vie for State Manufacturer of the Year

By WisBusiness Staff

MADISON – Fifty-two Wisconsin companies have been nominated for the 17th Annual Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Awards for outstanding achievements in manufacturing.

The annual competition is co-sponsored by the Michael Best and Friedrich LLP law firm, Virchow, Krause & Co. LLP, the nation’s 13th largest accounting and consulting firm; and Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce, the state’s largest business association.

“This strong field of nominees show that the manufacturers have good stories to share,” said Geoffrey Morgan, a partner at Michael Best & Friedrich LLP. “The Manufacturer of the Year Award program honors businesses for their commitment to excellence, their employees, and the state.”

Winners will be announced at a black-tie awards banquet on March 3, 2005, at the Pfister Hotel in Milwaukee.

“Wisconsin manufacturers have survived a tough economy and are making a comeback,” said James S. Haney, WMC president. “It is important to salute these companies for their accomplishments, creating good-paying jobs and a better quality of life for the citizens of our state.”

“This year’s nominees are dedicated to building a better Wisconsin and superior workforce,” said Tim Christen, CEO of Virchow Krause. “It is because of the hard work of Wisconsin manufacturers that our families are stronger and our communities are more vibrant.”

The competition’s Grand Award winners are categorized based on the number of employees. Two additional Grand Award categories include the Community Commitment Grand Award, which honors a company that demonstrates outstanding community commitment and steadfast community involvement, and the High-Tech Grand Award for innovation and leadership in high-tech manufacturing.

Special awards may be presented to companies for their contributions to the manufacturing industry in Wisconsin. Nominated companies are evaluated in areas such as financial growth or consistency, technological advances, product development, environmental solutions, operational excellence/continuous improvement, commitment to employees, and effective research and development.

An independent panel of judges, with representatives from business, education, government and the media, selects the 2004 Manufacturer of the Year Award winners.

2004 Wisconsin Manufacturer of the Year Nominees

Company City
Advanced Tooling Specialists, Inc. Menasha
Alby Materials, Inc. Burlington
Alliance Laundry Systems Ripon
American Laser Products Inc. Middleton
Argon Industries, Inc. Milwaukee
Ariens Company Brillion
Bay Shipbuilding Company Sturgeon Bay
Bone Care International Middleton
Brady Corporation Milwaukee
Bucyrus International, Inc. South Milwaukee
Commercial Communications, Inc. Hartland
Gammex Inc. Madison
GE Infrastructure Water & Process Technologies Milwaukee
Graphic Packaging International, Inc. Wausau
Great White Dental Lab, LLC Lodi
Greenheck Fan Corporation Schofield
Gusmer Enterprises, Inc. Waupaca
Harnischfeger Corporation Milwaukee
HED, Inc. (Hydro Electronic Devices, Inc.) Hartford
Heritage Veneered Products Shawano
Industrial Combustion Monroe
Kraft Pizza Little Chute
Magnetek, Inc. Menomonee Falls
Marshall Towne Millwork, LLC Marshall
Mercury Marine Fond du Lac
Milprint, Inc. Oshkosh
Modern of Marshfield, Inc. Marshfield
Mortara Instrument, Inc. Milwaukee
Necedah Screw Machine Products, Inc. Necedah
Northeast Wisconsin Printing Co., Inc. Appleton
Northwoods Paper Converting, Inc. Beaver Dam
Openfirst, LLC Milwaukee
ORBIS Corporation Oconomowoc
Orion Energy Systems Plymouth
Outlook Group Corp. Neenah
Pierce Manufacturing Inc. Appleton
Portage Plastics Corporation Portage
Quinton Cardiology, Inc. Deerfield
Res Manufacturing Company Milwaukee
Saddlebrook BarnCams Oconomowoc
Schoeneck Containers, Inc. (SCI) New Berlin
Seats Incorporated Reedsburg
Signicast Corporation Hartford
Silicon Graphics, Inc. Chippewa Falls
Sprecher Brewing Company, Inc. Glendale
Stork Cellramic, Inc. Milwaukee
Tufco Technologies, Inc. Green Bay
Universal Die & Stampings Prairie du Sac
Visual Systems, Inc. Milwaukee
Waukesha Tool & Stamping, Inc. Sussex
Witmer Industries, Inc. Abbotsford
Wolf River Lumber, Inc. New London