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Briggs & Stratton CEO Becomes New WMC Chair

MADISON – States that address the nationwide skilled worker shortage will have a tremendous competitive advantage over states that don’t, which is why the new chair of Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) has made tackling that issue his top priority.

Todd J. Teske, chairman/president/CEO of Wauwatosa-based Briggs & Stratton Corporation, was officially installed as WMC chair today during the 101-year old business group’s board meeting. He replaces Thomas J. Howatt, chairman of Wausau Paper. In brief remarks to the WMC Board, Teske outlined his priorities for his two-year term.

“Manufacturing has been, and continues to be the core of family-supporting middle class jobs in Wisconsin,” Teske said. “But those jobs are threatened by a number of factors including a shortage of skilled industrial workers to fill existing and expected job vacancies.”

Teske said if left unaddressed, the worker shortage will become a crisis for manufacturers, and ultimately for Wisconsin’s economy. “Manufacturing is our state’s number one business sector. It is also a foundational economic sector because it doesn’t just create jobs in factories. It also creates jobs in banks and retail stores, restaurants and hotels, local governments and hospitals. If Wisconsin doesn’t develop or attract the skilled workers needed for today’s advanced manufacturing, companies will be forced to look elsewhere.”

Defending the remarkable progress made during 2011 to improve Wisconsin’s business climate is another priority for Teske. He specifically singled out the manufacturers’ tax credit for recognition, which will begin a three year phase-in in 2013. “One thing everyone in our state should be able to agree on is the need for more good jobs that support families, create opportunities and make communities strong.”

At the same meeting, the WMC Board elected Daniel T. Ariens, president/CEO of Brillion-based Ariens Company, as vice chair.

In addition, Tod B. Linstroth, senior partner & past chair and member of management committee, Michael Best & Friedrich, LLP, was re-elected secretary of WMC; Timothy L. Christen, CPA, CEO of Baker Tilly Virchow Krause, LLP, was re-elected treasurer of WMC; Kurt R. Bauer, was re-elected president/CEO of WMC; and James A. Buchen, James R. Morgan, and Michael R. Shoys were re-elected vice presidents of WMC.

Others elected or re-elected to WMC’s 52-member board at the Annual Membership Meeting are:

  • David H. Bretting, President/CEO, C. G. Bretting Manufacturing Company, Inc., Ashland
  • Bradley D. Chapin, Executive Vice President, M&I Bank, a Part of BMO Financial Group, Milwaukee
  • Scott A. Fawcett, President/CEO, Springs Window Fashions Division, Inc., Middleton
  • Philip B. Flynn, President/CEO, Associated Banc-Corp, Green Bay
  • Gary M. Gigante, President/CEO, ThyssenKrupp Waupaca, Waupaca
  • Patricia Kampling, President/COO, Alliant Energy, Madison
  • Robert D. Kamphuis, Chairman/President/CEO, Mayville Engineering Company, Mayville
  • Scott E. Larson, Executive Director, Marshfield Area Chamber of Commerce & Industry, Marshfield
  • James J. McIntyre, CEO, Greenheck Fan Corporation, Schofield
  • William C. Parsons, President, Palmer Johnson Enterprises, Inc., Sturgeon Bay
  • Mark R. Richards, CEO, Appleton, Appleton
  • Eric W. Sauey, President, Seats, Incorporated, Reedsburg
  • Jay L. Smith, Chairman/CEO, Teel Plastics, Inc., Baraboo
  • Todd J. Teske, Chairman/President/CEO, Briggs & Stratton Corporation, Wauwatosa
  • John B. Torinus, Jr., Chairman, Serigraph, Inc., West Bend
  • Donald D. Wahlin, CEO, Stoughton Trailers, LLC, Stoughton

For Further Information Contact:
Kurt R. Bauer, (608) 258-3400





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