MADISON – The Department of Commerce will recognize four Wisconsin companies winning the 2007 Wisconsin Minority Business Awards which will be presented at the Marketplace 2007 Governor’s Conference on Minority Business Development luncheon on Thursday, October 11 at Ho-Chunk Casino Hotel and Convention Center, Baraboo.


“Please come to Marketplace to congratulate and get great ideas from these award-winning companies,” said Commerce Secretary Mary P. Burke. “Marketplace is a fantastic way to meet minority businesses, vendors and procurement agents.”


The four awards are made to Wisconsin-based ethnic minority businesses (as defined by the State of Wisconsin) that are organized for-profit.  The four award categories are:


  1. Outstanding Business – (having more than 25 employees) – that recognizes an established business showing overall business excellence on sales, product, customer relations, employment, and management dimensions. Company had to be profitable and at least 4 years old.

  2. Outstanding Business – (having 25 or fewer employees) – same criteria as above

  3. Rising Star (company less than 4 years old) — recognizes an innovative young company demonstrating great promise of success.

  4. Good Citizen – recognizing a company that contributes generously to society and community


In addition to these awards, Commerce is making a special award at Marketplace to recognize a corporate champion of minority business enterprise. 


  • We Energies is being given a special plaque for “Excellence in Corporate Procurement” for its Supplier Diversity Initiative and contributions to Wisconsin minority business development.  If you would like to get more information on We Energies MBE programs, contact Irissol Arce at 414-221-4651.


2007 Minority Business Award Winners


Outstanding Business (Successful, Established Large Company)

Belonger Corporation, Inc.

President: Jean Marie Thiel

2334 Stonebridge Circle, Unit D

West Bend, WI    53095


Started seven years ago, Belonger provides a full range of mechanical contracting services for commercial and industrial applications, employing over 30 employees, with annual sales near $4 million and growing.


Outstanding Business (Successful, Established Company – 25 or fewer employees)

Convenience Electronics

Owner/President: J Harry Lum

2306 Vondron Road

Madison, WI 53718


Started in 1989, Convenience Electronics manufactures small-run specialty cables for the medical, instrumentation, and industrial sectors, and is on track for $2.5 million in sales in 2007.


Rising Star (Innovative Young Company  – under 4 years old)

Fahlgreen Solutions LLC

President/CEO: Susanne M. Kufahl

W5387 Evergreen Road,

Montello, WI 53949


Founded in 2005, Fahlgreen Solutions has developed an innovative and integrated solution for rapid fingerprint identification for employers needing to verify new hires and secured a major federal agency as a client.


Good Citizen (Corporate Philanthropy Award)

Universal Translation & Staffing, Inc.

President: Chungyia T. Thao

206 S. Memorial Dr.

Appleton, WI 54911


Since its inception in 2000, Universal Translation & Staffing has provided numerous pro-bono services to Wisconsin’s Hmong community, has donated time to preserving Hmong traditions, has helped organize key educational conferences and workshops that benefit the community, and has actively assisted new refugees living in the area.