A profitable business ‘model’

Pictured above: Chuck Brys pays a visit to Jamie Veeser, owner of Machine Plus, LLC. Brys helped Veeser grow his one-man shop to a $1-million-plus facility with 10 employees.

After a first career of running businesses, Chuck Brys spent another decade helping others learn to run their own.

The new retiree is entitled to be a little giddy these days. Strong returns can do that to a person, and Brys can point to some impressive results from his tenure guiding business start-ups as a counselor for the Small Business Development Center (SBDC), part of UW-Green Bay’s Cofrin School of Business.

In 11 years, he’s forged relationships with more than 1,600 businesses, invested more than 11,000 hours, helped to launch 117 businesses, created 463 jobs and increased “capital infusion” (securing capital for growth and start-up expenses) for the companies he’s worked with by nearly $25 million.

“Chuck has experience managing at a level most people just don’t have,” notes Tara Carr, SBDC director. “He can evaluate the business’s financials, take a tour of the facility and have clients walk him through their processes, and he can see things from a different perspective that helps him find solutions. He’s able to evaluate the business not only from the micro-level, but the macro-level as well, which is key to helping businesses in many different facets.”

Carr said Brys’ special skill sets have made him invaluable to SBDC clients. Among those skills — his ability to be a straight shooter, his level of integrity, his trustworthiness, his financial expertise and his management experience.

Retiree? Not for long.

Brys retired at 55… the first time. Before long, he began working with an organization that allowed him to be a part-time CFO or CEO to many different companies. Later, he turned to the SBDC.

“Being at the SBDC allowed me to help build businesses for busines’s sake,” he said. “It’s our responsibility to help these businesses think through their business plans and issues.”
The job of the SBDC is to help small businesses in whatever way they need. Be it helping an entrepreneur start a new venture, to helping a business owner figure out where their business was going off the rails.

Mentor. Coach.

A listener who asks questions and lets clients arrive at their own conclusions, Brys coached clients through almost every type of business scenario imaginable. Sometimes, that coaching meant not starting a business at all. Other times, with his guidance, businesses grew from “one-man shops” to larger operations with multiple employees and million-dollar income streams.

Consider the young man who wanted to open his own machine shop. He had the skills he needed, but not the capital. Through Brys and the SBDC, he was able to acquire $50,000 to start his business, Machine Plus, LLC. That same client just completed construction on a $1-million-plus plant. Owner Jamie Veeser (pictured right) credits Brys for his success.

“Chuck honestly helped me to be a very stable businessman,” Veeser said. “Seven years ago, I was a scared guy trying to figure out whether or not I wanted to open a machine shop. Chuck told me what I needed to have, and I went out and got it. He walked me through it, every step of the way.”

That was in late 2011. Machine Plus opened in January 2012. In three months the business was profitable; in six months business profits paid for a second machine in cash, and today, Veeser has 10 employees. Veeser said he never imagined being a business owner, or getting off the plant floor.

“Now I go on the floor when I want to play with something. I have more appreciation for my family, for my time off. I appreciate now how volatile the economy can be as a small business owner.”

Hometown Trolley in Crandon, Wis., is another amazing success story. The company’s main competitor was dropping its pricing and driving down Hometown Trolley’s profit margin, impacting the bottom line.

“Owner Kristina Pence-Dunow used me as a sounding board,” Brys said. “After a while, I asked her ‘Why don’t you just buy them?’ So many times, small business owners are so busy doing the work that needs to be done that they don’t have the time to think about things like that.”

Brys helped the company grow from a $2 million business into a $20-million, award-winning company. And the impact to the local economy was profound.

Transformation agent.

Brys also helped to develop the SBDC into a larger, more productive and highly valued resource in Northeast Wisconsin. By working with local economic development offices and increasing the amount of funding the center was able to bring in, Brys transformed the organization from a group bringing in 90 clients a year to one that sees more than 300 a year, and one that now aids in securing $15 to $20 million annually in economic development funds to grow the local economy.

“His dedication to the SBDC and to UW-Green Bay is truly about what kind of a man he is,” Carr said. “He just really wanted to utilize his experience to help the community and make a difference.”

This story by Liz Carey originally appear in the Spring/Summer issue of Inside Magazine.

UW-Green Bay hosts ‘draft-like’ day at Preble

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Sept. 18-19, 2018, UW-Green Bay hosted an event for Preble High School. The event was inspired by the draft day held last spring at Lambeau Field. Preble counselors approached UW-Green Bay to host a dynamic and interesting higher education-focused event at their school, attended by all 550 seniors over the course of two days. The event included activities from Student Life, the Kress Events Center, Residence Life, the University Union, Financial Aid and Admissions. Students also attended one-on-one brief counseling sessions with admissions counselors. Special thanks to all those from UW-Green Bay for hosting activities during this program, and a special kudos to Samantha Post in Admissions for coordinating this energetic and engaging event.

Mission accomplished

UW-Green Bay students help nonprofits measure their good works

There was palpable excitement entering Lora Warner’s Government and Nonprofit classroom last semester. Her students were actively engaged with local Nonprofits through service learning; visiting sites, getting their “hands dirty” and evaluating each program to determine the best ways to measure and communicate the Nonprofits mission and success before formally presenting their recommendations directly to their professional Nonprofit partners. Why? Because for each Nonprofit organization, it is becoming increasingly important to stakeholders and donors to know that their time is well-spent and their financial contributions are making a difference.

Delivering value to the mission

The Green Bay Botanical Gardens, CP Center, Curative Connections, The Farmory and The Birder Studio ARTreach program were nonprofits that received help from UW-Green Bay in spring 2018. Take ARTreach, an organization that partners with the YMCA’s after-school program at Green Bay area elementary schools deemed “at-risk,” as an example. As part of the program, K-5 students work with high school mentors and a program leader to experience music, art, theater and more importantly, life skills like self confidence, public speaking and working together. The program brings art to life for kids who may never have the opportunity to be part of an arts-themed program.

However, measuring the success of the program, things like increased confidence and problem-solving skills can be difficult. “It’s been really exciting,” says ARTreach Coordinator Peggy McGee. “We know what we do works — we can see the benefits — but having the UW-Green Bay students here to provide research and organize the numbers into something we can communicate to benefit our program, is so fantastic.”

In the foreground, from left to right, UW-Green Bay students Jessica Pittner ’18, Carly Newhouse ’18 and Tessah Dolata from Prof. Lora Warner’s “Program Evaluation” class, evaluated The Birder School ARTreach program to determine best ways to measure and communicate its success. The after-school participants took a photo break during dress rehearsal for a future Wizard of Oz performance.
In the foreground, from left to right, UW-Green Bay students Jessica Pittner ’18, Carly Newhouse ’18 and Tessah Dolata from Prof. Lora Warner’s “Program Evaluation” class, evaluated The Birder School ARTreach program to determine best ways to measure and communicate its success. The after-school participants took a photo break during dress rehearsal for a future Wizard of Oz performance.

Community plus campus yields valuable partnership

This unique way of involving student and community is developed from Prof. Warner’s strong background in program evaluation. “Program evaluation helps measure the impact you’re having on the people in your program,” says Warner. “There’s something called the double bottom line; there’s financials, but then there’s the mission, the reason organizations receive donations — to accomplish good for the people that are part of the program.” Lack of staff, budget and time constraints can make it difficult for nonprofits to determine how to best show their success and measure their impact. Outcome measurement can have a profound impact on community philanthropic support, volunteers and overall participation in each program.

In this partnership, local nonprofits have the benefit of utilizing fresh, intelligent and innovative ideas to develop impactful metrics and useful measurement tools. Teams of students observe the nonprofits, meet directly with leaders to learn about organization mission and vision, research best practices and then combine this with their knowledge of program evaluation theory to determine outcomes and develop a model that can be utilized by the organization. The direct application makes it more “real” for each student, which impacts their perception of the local nonprofit landscape.

Adding value to the community

Warner has also observed the additional benefits of understanding outcome measurement and program evaluation through hands-on service learning; students in her classes are learning self-confidence, conflict management skills, critical thinking, and problem-solving. “They’re learning skills that are in high demand,” says Warner. “Program evaluation is something that employers want across all disciplines.” More importantly, students are developing into future employees that are well-prepared and able to effectively communicate their ideas and results.

Students within the program concur. They enjoy the non-traditional style of the class and are happy to share their insights. They speak about gaining empathy, humility, increased knowledge about the community, volunteerism and being a part of something that they may never have been exposed to otherwise, as takeaways from the class. “It’s so much more applicable to what I’m going to experience out in the real world,” says Carly Newhouse ’18, a senior working towards an Arts Management degree. “I’ve learned so much more because it’s not just a lecture.”

Ensuring these millennials are prepared for their future and able to give back to the community is exactly what Warner had envisioned. “This ultimately benefits the whole community in two ways. We’re preparing the future nonprofit and public serving employees to be comfortable and well-prepared,” she says. The nonprofits become more accountable. “They learn with us. And in turn, develop better evaluation methods, are more accountable to their donors, and in turn raise more money…becoming even more effective.”

Final grade? A+

The presentation complete, questions asked and answered, the students happily relax to let their peers take their turn. Peggy McGee is poised to take the students’ recommendations for ARTreach and move this program forward, utilizing the outcome measures outlined. Already, she’s seen the positive effect this unique and valuable project has left on the kids involved in ARTreach. “For students in these schools to see others invest in them by observing and interacting, makes them feel valuable…that people are interested in who they are,” adds McGee.

Mission definitely accomplished.

This story by Kristin Bouchard ‘93 originally appear in the Spring/Summer issue of Inside Magazine

Lunch and Learn opportunity — American Indian Studies Summer Institute

If you missed the Wisconsin American Indian Studies Summer Institute this year and or would like to learn more about it, please join Bao Sengkhammee from Multi-Ethnic Student Affairs (MESA) and she will share her experience and some of her take-a-ways from the Institute. The lunch and learn will be on Thursday, Oct. 11, from Noon to 1 p.m. in the Alumni Room, University Union (formerly Room 103) at the Green Bay Campus.

Alumni Association invites you to meet the candidates, Oct. 3

The UW-Green Bay Alumni Association invites you to meet candidates for Wisconsin State Senate and State Assembly in Brown County, October 3, 2018 from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. at Heritage Hill State Park. This is your opportunity to talk to your candidates from both political parties in a small, casual setting where you can ask questions and learn more about their positions, including support for UW–Green Bay, higher education, and other important state issues. Hosted by the UW-Green Bay Alumni Association and the Wisconsin Alumni Association. Contact Director of Alumni Relations Kari Moody at moodyk@uwgb.edu or 920-465-2226 with any questions. RSVP to moodyk@uwgb.edu.


Information Technology — New name, improved service

The Division of Information Technology (formerly Information Services) not only sports a new name, but also a new organizational structure and a new approach to providing top- notch technology support. The new Division of IT now has four teams:

  • Client Services – provides support through the IT Service Desk. Support includes workstations, printers, classroom technology, a/v production, computer labs (general access and specialty), and telephones. Other services include training and computer rollout/inventory. This team is managed by Bill Hubbard.
  • Information Systems – manages, updates, and maintains SIS, Sales, ImageNow, and numerous other enterprise systems. Other responsibilities include the management of the Kentico web content management system and the University’s website. This team is managed by Barb Holschbach.
  • IT Security – provides oversight of IT Security process and policies, to ensure the safety and integrity of our data and systems. This team is managed by Travis Albrecht.
  • Network Services – responsible for the daily operation and maintenance of the University network (wired and wireless), servers, network accounts, file storage and email systems. This team is managed by Monika Pynaker.

Key changes? Academic Technology Services (ATS) is now part of Client Services, so that service point no longer exists. There is a single point of service via the IT Service Desk (a.k.a. Help Desk), so whether you need help in your office or in the classroom you simply call 920-465-2309 or email helpdesk@uwgb.edu, and the proper response team will deal with your issue. You will find the most popular faculty and staff IT items addressed here.

What Makes an Educational Experience High Impact?

What Makes an Educational Experience High Impact? Find out, Monday, Oct. 8, 2018 from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in the 1965 Room, University Union, Green Bay Campus. The presentation will be led by UW System Presenters: Carleen Vande Zande, associate vice president, Academic Programs & Educational Innovation and Fay Y. Akindes, director, Systemwide Professional & Instructional Development. Register here.

The workshop explores a set of quality indicators for high-impact practices (HIPs) as proposed by the National Association of System Heads (NASH). These quality indicators are meant to both guide and reflect the nature of high-impact practices across programs and institutions that will promote learning for all students. As a participant in the Taking Student Success to Scale grant, the UW System has the opportunity to apply these quality indicators to existing or newly designed high-impact practices to examine how these attributes are affirmed or how they may guide further refinement of the HIPs offerings on our campuses. Participants will then complete a mapping activity to apply the quality indicators to their own high-impact practices and reflect on how their HIPs align with the new vision for HIPs.

The workshop ends with a look at integrative learning, an opportunity for students to demonstrate how they apply, analyze, and synthesize their knowledge in the HIPs learning experience. Participants will examine integrative learning outcomes and assessment practices.

Prof. Ryan Martin and Assistant Prof. Alan Chu discuss sports psychology in new ‘Psych and Stuff’ podcast episode

New from Phoenix Studios is the latest episode of the podcast Psych and Stuff. In this first episode of season four, Prof. Ryan Martin (Psychology/Human Development) and Assistant Prof. Alan Chu (Human Development) delve into the world of sport psychology. The discussion covers a variety of aspects within the discipline, from mental health to performance excellence. Listen here.


$1 coffee, tea and assorted hot beverages available on second floor of Cofrin Library

There will be $1 coffee, tea and other assorted hot beverages available on the second floor of the Cofrin Library all day, every day. Feature blends include: Light, medium and dark roast coffees, hot cocoa, apple cider, pumpkin spice coffee, chai tea latte and caramel vanilla cream coffee. Managed by Your University Union.