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Van Lines

with Joe Vanden Plas

03/03/14

The value of networking and relationships

There’s an old saying that goes something like this: Be kind to people on the way up because they are the same people you meet on the way down. Terry Murawski followed that advice, and that enabled him to bounce back from an unexpected turn of events. Last summer, he lost his job as executive director of the National W Club after the organization lost, via competitive bid, the food and beverage concession contract for UW athletic events. The contract represented 80% of the club’s annual revenue, so it was a devastating development that compelled Murawski to resign.

Posted at 07:22 AM | Permalink | Comments

02/03/14

Spirited debate should bring tastier result

I’ve never felt more like singing the blues for booze, or at least popping a cork for Wisconsin’s small distilleries, which simply ask for a level playing field. In Wisconsin, outfits like Madison’s Yahara Bay Distillers are not allowed to offer product samples — tastings — at licensed retailers like groceries or liquor stores. When you make 18 products, including several low-alcohol liqueurs enriched by Wisconsin’s apple and cranberry industries, it helps to have consumers sample your products.

Posted at 09:27 AM | Permalink | Comments

01/23/14

Walker and the budget: Shorting the shortfall

Before his State of the State address, Gov. Scott Walker said addressing a projected shortfall (i.e., structural deficit) heading into the next state budget isn’t a priority for him. He reaffirmed that during the Jan. 22 address, saying he would, as part of a “Blueprint for Prosperity,” prefer to send $800 million of a $912 million surplus back to Wisconsin taxpayers.

Posted at 07:20 AM | Permalink | Comments: 2

01/02/14

One executive who conquered the Great Depression

About 12 years ago, I spent a very enjoyable summer evening with Scott Braucht and his wife, Mary, at Concerts on the Square. It was a happy occasion, one of those gorgeous summer nights that, when combined with music, helps you realize that civilization actually exists.

Posted at 06:59 AM | Permalink | Comments

12/02/13

It's time to tackle the skills gap

Before the October surprise of 204,000 new jobs, the U.S. economy created 163,000 jobs in September (revised upward from 148,000) and averaged 190,000 new jobs per month over the prior year. While October marked the 44th consecutive month of job growth, we’re creating jobs at such a moderate pace that it will take several more years to recover all the jobs lost in the Great Recession. Many elected officials don’t seem to have noticed, but there appears to be a structural transformation underway that must be addressed if employers expect to find the labor they need, not only to function but also to flourish.

Posted at 06:59 AM | Permalink | Comments: 1

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