MANITOWOC – Progress Lakeshore, Manitowoc County’s economic development agency, held its 2022 Excellence in Economic Development Awards Breakfast Tuesday at The Venue at Union Square.
The following award recipients were announced. Information about the winners was provided by Progress Lakeshore.
Corporate Investment Award: Redline Plastics
About the winner: Redline Plastics completed a 103,000-square-foot expansion in August 2021. It made a $7-$8 million capital investment into its equipment and people. It has added more than 100 positions in the past year and continues to expect to add more. It is working on leadership training/formational programs in addition to job skills and safety trainings as it continues to grow and offer customers more complicated products.
About the award: The Corporate Investment Award recognizes a business that has made a positive economic impact on the community (capital investment), has gone above and beyond to enhance its workforce, and has developed innovation in either product or process to improve and adapt to marketplace change.
Entrepreneurial Achievement Award: Brennan Seehafer
Winner and nominees: Brennan Seehafer was the winner with BRIX receiving honorable mention. Also nominated were Beyond Nutrition, Certified Auto Services, KIELeidoscope, Lakeshore FIRST Robotics, Shields & Sanders Autobody, The High Lift and Youniquely Fit Studio.
About the winner: Brennan Seehafer is the owner of three businesses — The Wharf Manitowoc, The Venue at Union Square and Brennan Seehafer Productions — producer of the annual July 3 celebration and co-producer of Night Market 920, all of which are in Manitowoc. His most significant project is taking what originally began as a seasonal, experimental shipping container space and growing it into a year-round venue with a permanent facility and increased outdoor space in The Wharf. The facility features a state-of-the-art retractable roof system providing the flexibility to allow events to continue rain or shine throughout the summer season. This space showcases the beauty of the waterfront while providing entertainment, a full bar and ever-changing unique food specials. His other notable project that had significant economic impact was the opening of The Venue at Union Square, a modern wedding venue and convention space. He has shown his commitment to Manitowoc through his continued investment and development of the downtown.
About the award: The Entrepreneurial Achievement Award recognizes an individual or emerging small business that has developed their ideas, products and/or services into a viable, competitive business, while positively impacting the community.
Neighborhood Development Award: PetSkull Brewing Co.
Winner, honorable mention and nominees: PetSkull Brewing Co. was the winner while Mike Howe Builders – Union Square renovation received honorable mention. Also nominated were Cool City Brewing Company, Elks Club Redevelopment – Allie Family Companies, Kiel Hardware, Sabbatical Brewing and Treehouse Theater.
About the winner: PetSkull Brewing Co. at 1015 Buffalo St., which was once a tannery and iron and metal company that sat empty for four decades, is now a beautiful destination brewery and restaurant in the heart of downtown, marking the start of the growing River Point District. The restaurant focuses on food styles not offered anywhere else in the community including Cajun and creole. A larger 10-barrel brewery was added to this new space, which increases distribution and recognition throughout northeast Wisconsin and beyond. The expansion allowed for the hiring of an additional four full-time and 20 part-time staff members.
About the award: The Neighborhood Development Award recognizes innovative real estate development or re-use projects that are purposely built or adaptively reused to enhance the community and positively impact the local economy.
Community Enhancement Award: Boys & Girls Club of Manitowoc County
Winner, honorable mention and nominees: Boys & Girls Club of Manitowoc County was the winner and Kiel Area Community Food Pantry and Lakeshore FIRST Robotics both received honorable mention. Also nominated were Grow It Forward, Lakeshore Technical College and Manitowoc County Jail for a relationship where incarcerated students receive an approach to learning and transition to employment or post-secondary instruction, The Fitness Store, Treehouse Theater, Vagabond Creative Studio and Wisconsin Maritime Museum.
About the winner: Opened in 2021 at 3651 Dewey St., the Boys & Girls Club of Manitowoc County provides a safe, affordable and supportive place for youth to go during critical out-of-school times. At the club, youth engage with caring adults and take part in meaningful, interesting and constructive academic, health and wellness, art, and STEM programming that helps them learn and grow. Currently, they have more than 50 kids enrolled and have served more than 300 meals to youth who attend. Summer programming is a great time to give kids opportunities to develop new friendships, play, and continue to learn and experience new things.
About the award: The Community Enhancement Award recognizes a business or organization that has made a substantial impact in the quality of life in Manitowoc County by creating projects and initiatives to make Manitowoc County a more attractive place to live and work.
Economic Accelerator of the Year Award: Sachin Shivaram
Winner, honorable mention and nominees: Sachin Shivaram, CEO of Wisconsin Aluminum Foundry, was the winner while Wine Not, LLC – Curt and Jean Andrews and Barry and Gina Krahn received honorable mention. Also nominated were Adam Tegen, City of Manitowoc’s community development director; Brennan Seehafer; and Todd Nilson of Clocktower Advisors.
About the winner: Sachin Shivaram is a strong champion of local and regional economic development. As a member of the New North Board of Directors, he has been an active partner in helping to drive their regional strategic plan, offering value-added input from a business/industry perspective. Shivaram is also a member of the Governor’s Council on Workforce Investment, serving as a voice for northeast Wisconsin and the lakeshore on a state-level board. His willingness to collaborate and partner on key issues helps drive conversations to affect change. As a leading business partner for the Manitowoc County Workforce Innovation Grant centered around child care, he continues to demonstrate the thought leadership needed to drive innovative solutions to workforce and economic development issues. He models ethical leadership principles and offers compelling strategic vision that has an impact at a local, regional and state level. Under his leadership at WAF, the company has grown its Manitowoc workforce by nearly 100 people in the past 18 months and has raised wages by more than 17% in just the past year.
About the award: The Economic Accelerator of the Year Award recognizes an individual or organization that has played a key leadership role in economic development.
Coolest Coast Champion Award: Cathy Green
Winner: Cathy Green, executive director of the Wisconsin Maritime Museum.
About the award: The Coolest Coast movement is about celebrating the people, places and things that make our community such a great place to live, work and play. The Coolest Coast Champion Award is presented annually to an individual who exemplifies the spirit of the Coolest Coast and who has gone above and beyond to support their community.
This article originally appeared on Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter: Manitowoc economic development awards go to Redline, Brennan Seehafer