New North, Inc.: New North Business Honored at Manufacturer of the Year Awards

For Immediate Release

Contact: Joshua Morby

Mobile: 414.791.9120

Email: [email protected]

Successful manufacturing companies highlight region’s success

APPLETON, March 3, 2006 – Five companies from the New North region were honored at the annual Manufacturer of the Year Awards Banquet in Milwaukee last night for excellence in manufacturing.

Mercury Marine of Fond du Lac and Ariens Company of Brillion won grand awards for manufacturing, while WS Packaging Group, Inc. of Algoma won the high-tech grand award. Kraft Pizza Company of Little Chute won a special award for employee involvement, while the Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry Company of Manitowoc won a special award for overcoming obstacles.

“Congratulations to these five outstanding companies for their commitment to excellence and to growing the manufacturing industry in the New North region,” said Jerry Murphy, the executive director of the New North, Inc. “These New North companies are among the best of the best in Wisconsin’s manufacturing sector, and we are very proud of their accomplishments. It is businesses like these that make Northeast Wisconsin a great place to live, work, and raise a family.”

The annual awards banquet honors companies for their contributions to the manufacturing industry in Wisconsin. The event is sponsored by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, Michael Best & Friedrich and Virchow, Krause & Company.

Mercury Marine, which won the grand award for a company with 1,000 plus employees, posted record sales last year of $2.28 billion – up 6 percent from 2004. The company, which has 7,000 employees worldwide, has moved toward producing more costly, less polluting outboard engines – a move that has resulted in strong international sales and higher selling prices.

“Manufacturing is vital to a strong economy in the New North, and these businesses contribute to a vibrant economy by creating good-paying jobs for our communities,” Murphy said.

New North, Inc. is a regional collaboration effort focused on promoting regional cooperation and economic development in an 18-county region in Northeast Wisconsin. The 18 counties included in the New North are Outagamie, Winnebago, Calumet, Waupaca, Brown, Shawano, Oconto, Marinette, Door, Kewaunee, Sheboygan, Manitowoc, Fond du Lac, Green Lake, Marquette, Florence, Menominee, and Waushara.

To find out more information about the New North, Inc., please visit our website at www.thenewnorth.com.