Wisconsin Technology Council: Jim Berbee to receive 2015 ‘Seize the Day’ award at Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Madison

Contact: Tom Still or Joy Sawatzki at 608-442-7557

MADISON – Jim Berbee, founder of Madison-based Berbee Information Networks Corp. and who later embarked on a career in medicine, will receive the 12th annual Ken Hendricks Memorial “Seize the Day” award at the 2015 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference.

The award, which celebrates entrepreneurial leaders who have been crucial to Wisconsin’s economic growth, is named in honor of the late Ken Hendricks, a Beloit businessman and 2006 “Seize the Day” award winner who died in an accident in late 2007.

Berbee will accept the award and speak at noon Tuesday, June 2, during the 2015 Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference in Madison. The “Seize the Day” luncheon is sponsored by Marshfield Clinic Applied Sciences. To register for the luncheon or the full conference at the Alliant Energy Center, visit www.WiTrepsConference.com. “Early bird” registration is open through May 11 and special hotel rates apply through early May.

Founded by Berbee in 1993, Berbee Information Networks Corp. grew to 800 employees, 11 offices and two data centers in six Midwestern states. One of the nation’s largest privately held solution providers at the time, it was acquired by CDW for $175 million in 2006.

Berbee attended Stanford University School of Medicine and completed his emergency medicine residency at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. He joined the Department of Emergency Medicine at the UW School of Medicine & Public Health in August 2014.

Berbee founded the Madison area’s “Berbee Derby Thanksgiving Day Run/Walk” to support the Technology Education Foundation. He serves as a trustee for the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, the Morgridge Institute for Research and WICell. He and his wife, through the BerbeeWalsh Foundation, support human health and welfare projects.

“Jim Berbee’s story is one that should inspire entrepreneurs at all stages,” said Tom Still, president of the Wisconsin Technology Council. “His persistence, commitment to quality and community involvement cuts across all lines.”

In addition to Hendricks, past “Seize the Day” winners are Don Weber of Logistics Health Inc. (2004); Bob Cervenka of Phillips Plastics (2005); Jan Eddy of Wingra Technologies (2007); Michael Cudahy of Marquette Medical Systems (2008); Toni Sikes of The Guild/Guild.com (2009); Bill Linton of Promega (2010); Bob Hillis of Direct Supply (2011); Kay Koplovitz of USA Network (2012); Fred Foster of Electronic Theatre Controls (2013); and Craig and Lea Culver of Culver Franchising System (2014).

The “Seize the Day” award is not given for technical innovation but for innovative leadership – the ability to take hold of business opportunities and transform them into successes. Candidates for the award will have demonstrated vision, courage, adaptability, persistence and resourcefulness.

Recognizing the important role the arts play in nurturing a vibrant entrepreneurial culture, each year’s award has been an art piece created by Rivers’ Edge Foundry of Beloit, a business launched with the help of the late Ken Hendricks and Diane Hendricks, who has agreed to sponsor the award in his name. The recipient of the award is selected from the nominees by members of the Wisconsin Entrepreneurs’ Conference steering committee.

Produced by the Tech Council, the conference is one of the largest events of its kind in the Upper Midwest. More than 500 people are expected to attend the two-day conference, to be held June 3-4 at the Alliant Energy Center, 1919 Alliant Energy Center Way, just off Madison’s South Beltline. Additional speakers and features will be announced in coming weeks, all under the theme of “Nurturing Entrepreneurial Roots.” Other highlights:

– A keynote presentation by Jerry Jendusa, co-founder and former CEO of EMTEQ and now a principal with STUCK LLC.

Diligent Dozen: Top 12 finalists from the Governor’s Business Plan Contest square off

Panel discussions for emerging companies on how to “Launch, Grow and Succeed”

Sponsors so far include: Aberdean Consulting; Alliant Energy; American Family Insurance; American Transmission Co.; Ascendancy Advisors; AT&T; Baird Capital; Baker Tilly; BDO; BloodCenter of Wisconsin; BMO Harris Bank; Cresa Madison; Concordia University; Dedicated Computing; Exact Sciences; Filament Games; First Business Bank; Godfrey & Kahn; Google; Group Health Cooperative; HP Enterprise Services; Madison College; Madison Gas & Electric; Makin’ HEY! Communications; Marquette University; Marshfield Clinic Applied Sciences; Michael Best & Friedrich; Midwest Energy Research Consortium; Midwest Prototyping; MIOsoft; Murphy Desmond; Neider & Boucher; NEW Capital Fund; New Horizons of Wisconsin; Nordic; PowerBuy 4 You; Quarles & Brady; RDC National; Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren s.c.; Safenet Consulting; Tweedee Productions; University Research Park; Uber; UW-Madison Discovery to Product (D2P); UW-Madison Office of Corporate Relations; UW-Milwaukee Research Foundation; Venture Investors; Whitewater University Technology Park; Whyte Hirschboeck Dudek; WIN-Lake Superior; Wisconsin Economic Development Corp.; Wisconsin Technical College System; and WTN Media.

For more information, visit www.witrepsconference.com or call 608-442-7557.