Another year older
A look at Madison-area companies celebrating anniversaries in 2016
From the pages of In Business magazine.
Operating a business is not for the faint-hearted, not when nearly half of all new businesses don’t survive the first five years or more and only about one-third survive 10 years or more.
The companies listed in our annual toast to Dane County businesses celebrating milestone anniversaries ending in a 0 or 5 in the new year have already beaten the odds, some many times over. To do so takes ingenuity, intelligence, and plain old perseverance.
Read on to meet three longstanding companies that have continually adapted to changing times and customer needs to remain as fresh as they were 25, 60, or even 170 years ago.
Dane County Title
170 years of real estate records
As the oldest exisiting business in Dane County, Dane County Title has seen Madison grow from a tiny burg of 283 people into the mini-metropolis it is today.
Dane County Title has the distinction of being the oldest Madison company celebrating a milestone anniversary in 2016, as well as being part of one of the oldest businesses in the world.
The title business evolved from the old land offices where settlers and prospectors went to get their land grants. Even earlier, 17th century monks copied land deeds by hand, cut them in half, and gave one half to the buyer and one half to the seller — proof of ownership was matching halves.
Dane County Title boasts the oldest and most complete real-estate records in the state of Wisconsin. The company got its beginnings when local attorney J. Gillette Knapp prepared the first set of books that could be properly identified as abstract records for Madison. This was 1846, two years before Wisconsin became a state, when Madison was just a tiny village, with only a couple hundred people, four banks, four hotels, a few law offices and, of course, a brewery. Yet the need to accurately record real estate transactions was growing.
Today, Dane County Title is led by its first female president, Tammy L. Janson. A longtime employee and former vice president, Janson grew up in the title business. Joining Dane County Title in 1982, she has overseen many of the technological changes that have and continue to modernize the business and better serve its customers.
Clearly, Dane County Title isn’t going anywhere and having survived the Great Depression and the Great Recession, along with everything in between, it’s a good bet that with its track record, Dane County Title will be around for a long time to come.
- 1846 ➔ Attorney J. Gillette Knapp sets up shop on South Carroll Street, calling the firm Dane County Abstract.
- 1866 ➔ The company is acquired by Gen. Chandler B. Chapman, Wisconsin’s adjutant general.
- 1879 ➔ Chapman hires Gerrit Corscot, 19, to help him run the office on a temporary basis. Corscot accepts the job for $3 per week.
- 1902 ➔ The company is renamed Dane County Title after Corscot purchased the business with the help of a $3,000 loan from banker L.S. Hanks, who acquired a small ownership in the business as part of the deal. His son, Lucien (Lue) M. Hanks, a personable fellow who loved everything about Madison, would eventually play a prominent role in the growth of the company when he acquired it years later.
- 1951 ➔ Leonard Fish, who joined the company in 1936, succeeds Corscot as president when Corscot is named chairman of the board.
- 1955 ➔ For many years, Dane County Title Co. worked out of a small building on Fairchild Street that was built at a cost of $3,000. In 1955, ground is broken on a one-story, 3,000-square-foot Federal-style brick building at 115 W. Doty St., which costs $30,000 for the lot and $50,000 for construction. The project is spearheaded by Lucien (Lue) M. Hanks who after inheriting five shares of the company’s stock upon the death of his father, L.S. Hanks, purchased the rest.
- 1958 ➔ Fish leaves the firm to move to Arizona.
- 1960 ➔ The old building on South Fairchild is razed.
- 1985 ➔ Hanks, an avid sailor who spent his golden years piloting a tugboat on Lake Mendota, sells Dane County Title to two local businessmen and philanthropists, John Zimbrick and Don Anderson. Thomas Rostad, a young lawyer in Madison specializing in real-estate law, is hired as vice president.
- 1986 ➔ Rostad is promoted to president and eventually becomes a partner within the next couple of years.
- 1992 ➔ Rostad coordinates the company’s move from Doty Street to a west-side building at 901 S. Whitney Way. The move was necessitated by the city’s decision to acquire one entire block of Doty Street in order to build a new jail. Hanks’ beloved building was torn down; he passed away the day the wrecking ball was positioned.
60 years of keeping Madison businesses clean
Some of KleenMark’s early commercial cleaning equipment on display.
For 60 years, KleenMark has been an innovator in the commercial cleaning industry.
Headquartered in Madison, KleenMark serves businesses throughout the entire state of Wisconsin, as well as northern Michigan and northern Illinois. Its professional staff cleans and manages upwards of 15 million square feet of commercial, health care, and retail spaces.
KleenMark is not just the largest family owned commercial cleaning and facility supply company in the state, it’s also fast-growing and innovative. The company is driven to improve, take good care of its more than 850 employees, and pay the dividends forward to clients.
Continuous improvement has come in several forms, including an easy-to-use, web-based hub called KleenMark Connect to stay transparent, responsive, and within swift reach of its clients.
KleenMark also invests in specialized education for its cleaning staff through its KleenMark University, and it operates KleenMark Facility Supplies to provide cleaning equipment.
Additionally, KleenMark is committed to being a green company, using environmentally friendly cleaning supplies, equipment, and methods wherever possible.
- 1956 ➔ Jack Stevenson buys Hoffman Chemical with a partner.
- 1961 ➔ Janitorial division started.
- 1994 ➔ Appleton branch opens.
- 2000 ➔ Scott Stevenson buys company from his father, Jack Stevenson.
- 2005 ➔ Company changes its name to KleenMark.
- 2005 ➔ Milwaukee branch opens.
- 2008 ➔ KleenMark becomes Certified Industry Maintenance Standards (CIMS) certified with honors.
- 2008 ➔ Company creates “Greenway” program to promote green cleaning and sustainability.
- 2010 ➔ KleenMark enters Michigan market.
- 2011 ➔ KleenMark is listed on the Inc. 500 “fastest growing companies” list.
- 2011 ➔ KleenMark achieves CIMS-Green Building certification, becoming one of just a few hundred companies nationwide with this designation.
- 2011 ➔ KleenMark Connect, an online communication/work request system for KleenMark customers capable of documenting inspections and spotting service trends, is created.
25 years of telecommunications tallying
Valicom’s 25-year tenure is recognized by the WEDC at the Governor’s Conference on Minority Business Development.
Valicom, formerly Intelligent Networks Inc., was founded in 1991 based on a need for independent telecom consulting that was identified by Nancy Peckham during her eight-year tenure working in long distance sales in the 1980s and early 1990s — post divestiture of the telecom carriers.
Carriers were taking advantage of business who didn’t have the time to carefully review telecom invoices, often riddled with errors and issues. Peckham saw an opportunity to help these organizations navigate billing and contract negotiations.
Peckham’s entrepreneurial spirit has driven the company since its inception, something she learned from her mother, a pioneering female entrepreneur herself who owned and operated preschool and daycare businesses in the 1960s.
A certified woman-owned business, Valicom has reached the 25-year milestone in part because the company measures client satisfaction each quarter to gauge key client touch points and how they can be improved or modified. In 2015, Valicom’s client satisfaction surveys collectively scored 3.95 on a 4.0 scale.
Valicom is also a past recipient of IB’s “Best Places to Work in Madison” designation in 2012, 2013, and 2014. More than half of Valicom’s team has been with the company for over five years.
As Valicom embarks on its next 25 years, the company continuously innovates its core product, Clearview, adding new features and functionality such as invoice approval module, automatic bill pay, and mobile-device functionality. The company is also expanding its Channel Partner Program, launched in 2007, which enables consultants to grow their business portfolios.
- 1991 ➔ Intelligent Networks Inc. was founded by Nancy Peckham to serve as a consultant to organizations with large telecom environments.
- 1993 ➔ The company expands its core service offering from carrier cost comparison and contract negotiations to also include telecom bill audit services.
- 1996 ➔ The company’s first software generation of telecom expense management database, which would later be called Clearview, is built and deployed.
- 2006 ➔ Peckham hires Jeff Poirior (right) as the vice president of operations. Poirior will later become the president and COO, guiding the day-to-day operations of the business.
- 2007 ➔ The Channel Partner Program, an initiative to enable consultants to offer TEM services and software to their clients, is introduced.
- 2009 ➔The company changes its name to Valicom, highlighting the company’s commitment to creating value for clients. Savings typically range from 10% to 40% of the client’s annual telecom spend.
- 2010 ➔ The company’s Clearview software is launched as a software-as-a-service application for client-side use.
- 2015 ➔ The company’s 25-year tenure is recognized by the WEDC at the Governor’s Conference on Minority Business Development in Milwaukee.
Dane County Title
Bell, Moore & Richter S.C.
Wisconsin Alumni Association
Boardman & Clark LLP
YMCA of Dane County
Madison Gas & Electric
Trachte Building Systems
DuPont Nutrition and Health
Spectrum Brands Holdings
Pioneer Rim & Wheel Co.
Wisconsin Bank & Trust
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC)
Meuer Art & Picture Frame Co.
Blackhawk Country Club
The Fiore Companies Inc.
Easter Seals of Wisconsin
Endres Manufacturing Co.
Madison Symphony Orchestra Inc.
Baker Tilly Virchow Krause LLP
The WRC Group
UW Credit Union
Westphal & Co. Inc.
Aramark Uniform Services
Heartland Credit Union
Renk Seed Co.
ABS Global Inc.
Thysse Printing Service Inc.
Ansay & Associates
Badger Cab Co. Inc.
Catholic Charities of Madison
Hausmann-Johnson Insurance Inc.
Kelly Services Inc.
Ruekert & Mielke Inc.
Strand Associates Inc.
Sun Prairie Chamber of Commerce
WPS Health Solutions
Alliant Energy Center
Dunham Express Corp.
Ganshert Nursery & Landscapes LLC
Greater Madison Chamber of Commerce
American Printing Co.
Cliff Insurance Agency
Gordon Flesch Co. Inc.
Hallman Lindsay Paints
Odana Hills Golf Course
Qual Line Fence Corp.
Diesel Forward Inc.
Empire Realty Co. Inc.
Henneman Engineering Inc.
KJWW Engineering Consultants
LW Allen Inc.
M&M Office Interiors
Madison National Life Insurance Co.
Midwest Veterinary Supply
Phillips Distributing Corp.
SRF Consulting Group Inc.
Stoughton Trailers LLC
Von Rutenberg Ventures
Bayview Foundation Inc.
Big Brothers Big Sisters of Dane County
Eustice, Laffey, Sebranek & Auby, S.C.
Joan Collins Publicity Inc.
The Mariner’s Inn Inc.
Mazomanie Historical Society Museum
Northern Building Maintenance
Sherman Plaza Hairstyling
Soils & Engineering Services
The Community Action Coalition of South Central Wisconsin Inc.
Bauer & Raether Builders Inc.
Briarpatch Youth Services Inc.
Community Shares of Wisconsin
DRS LTD: Asphalt Paving
Drum Corps World magazine
Goodwill Industries of SC Wisconsin Inc.
Johanson Transportation Service
Nelson Schmidt Inc.
Transportation Development Association of Wisconsin
Weir Minerals North America
Windsor Building Systems LLC
Coating Place Inc.
Group Health Cooperative of South Central Wisconsin
Isthmus Publishing Co.
Klaas Financial Inc.
Krupp General Contractors LLC
Oregon Community Bank
Prairie Athletic Club
The Gialamas Co. Inc.
The Renschler Co. Inc.
AH Graphic Arts & Signs
Commercial Air Inc.
Custer Financial Services
Degnan Design Builders Inc.
Directional Striping Co.
Don Miller Auto Group
Far Horizons Travel LTD
Hensen Builders Inc.
Knight Hollow Nursery Inc.
LTCI Partners LLC
Madison Block & Stone Inc.
McFarland Chamber of Commerce
Meicher CPAs LLP
NCI-Roberts Construction Inc.
North Central Group
Oakhouse Farm Bakery
Pedro’s Mexican Restaurante
The Alexander Co.
Town & Country Engineering Inc.
Tri-North Builders Inc.
Wisconsin Business Development
Affordable Office Interiors
Boardwalk Investments LLC
Don’s Home Furniture
Home Health United
It’s Your Party LLC
KW2 (Knupp & Watson & Wallman)
Natural Resources Foundation of Wisconsin
Paragon Development Systems (PDS)
Pearson Engineering LLC
Port to Print
ProAssurance (formerly PIC Wisconsin)
Radisson Hotel Madison
Savant Capital LLC
Shaw Building & Design Inc.
1st Auto and Casualty Insurance
Automation Components Inc. (ACI)
Creative Business Interiors
Door Creek Golf Course
Duluth Trading Co.
ECCS Division of Pace Analytical Services Inc.
Food Concepts Inc.
JAM Graphics & Design LLC
KL Engineering Inc.
Monona State Bank
Office Furniture Resources
Parks Electrical Service Inc.
QBE North America
Sonic Foundry Inc.
Spherion Staffing and Recruiting
Sun Dance Janitorial Services LLC
SVA Consulting LLC
The American Center
The Geo Group Corp.
Van Mell Associates
1000 Friends of Wisconsin
A Woman’s Touch
All-Color Powder Coating Inc.
Business Filings Inc.
CliftonLarsonAllen Wealth Advisors LLC
Facility Engineering Inc.
Fairway Independent Mortgage Corp.
Freedom Personal Development
Hensel Woodworks LLC
Honkamp Krueger & Co. P.C./HKP
Johnson Bank Wealth Management
Kelly Financial Inc.
Midwest Home Care LLC
MSA Professional Services Madison
Oasis Spa and Salon
On Track Communications Inc.
Optic Nerve LLC
Protection Technologies Inc.
Rick Vanden Heuvel CPA S.C
Rippe Keane Marketing
Select Specialty Hospital
Seymour Environmental Services Inc.
Smart Solutions Inc.
Stone House Development
Sundial Software Corp.
Transmart Technologies Inc.
VA Kids Center
Acuity Consulting Services LLC
American Security Inc. (ASI)
Capital Fire & Security
Chrysalis Design Works
DC Interiors & Renovations
Fish & Associates Inc.
GeneTel Labs LLC
Gold Star Coffee Service
Hawks Landing Golf Club
Hilton Madison Monona Terrace
Kayla’s Custom Cleaning LLC
Madison Mallards Baseball Club
Martinson Real Estate LLC
Pilch & Barnet Inc.
Requirements Quest Inc.
Stellar Services LLC
The Wood Cycle of Wisconsin Inc.
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Memories Productions LLC
Waite Commercial Services
Altus Commercial Real Estate Inc.
Badger Farms LLC
Beacon Business Group
CAD Graphics LLC
Communication Innovations Inc.
Darcy Luoma Coaching & Consulting LLC
Doc Jams, a division of Wisconsin Copy and Business Equipment Inc.
EZ Office Products
File 13 E-Waste Solutions LLC
Fiscal Fitness LLC
Forte Studios LLC
Green Concierge Travel
Jacobson & Schmitt Advisors LLC
JC Rose Associates LLC
Lee & Associates
Madison Music Foundry LLC
Magic Apron Personal Chef
Morgridge Institute for Research
Potter’s Fine Foods LLC
Stemina Biomarker Discovery
Steve Busalacchi Communications
Traver Graphics Inc.
Albrecht Consulting Inc.
B. Goll & Dunn Insurance
Concierge Madison LLC
Fisher King Winery
Forward Healthcare Solutions LLC
Get Known SEO
Key Commercial Real Estate
KMA Bodilly CPAs & Consultants S.C.
Madison Green Box LLC
OneNeck IT Solutions LLC
Revelation PR, Advertising & Social Media
SOLOMO Technology Inc.
Strategic Brand Marketing
The Sewcial Lounge
The Zone Fitness and Training
TURIS Systems LLC
Wisconsin Economic Dev’t Corp. (WEDC)
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